Akani Simbine takes the baton from Anaso Jobodwana during the mens 4x100 relay heats at teh Commonwealth Games on Friday. Photo: EPA/DEAN LEWINS

BRISBANE - South Africa’s 4x100m-relay team won their heat on Friday morning at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, but they will have their work cut out if they want to contest for a medal in Saturday’s final.

The team’s medal hopes were in doubt with a bad change-over between Emile Erasmus and Anaso Jobodwana. The Commonwealth 100m champion, Akani Simbine, impressed with his powerful acceleration over the last 50 metres, catching up and passing Australia’s Josh Clarke to book South Africa’s place in the final.

The South African team (Henricho Bruintjies, Erasmus, Jobodwana and Simbine) clocked 38.71 seconds with the Aussies second in 38.78.

The times in the second 4x100m-relay heat were much quicker. England won in 38.15, with Jamaica second in 38.44 and Nigeria third in 38.52. 

So it would seem that the South African relay-team will need to come close to running a national record time of 38.35 if they want to have a realistic chance to medal. 

Erasmus is of the opinion that he and his teammates are capable of running a much faster time.

“Because of a slight misunderstanding between Anaso and me we lost a few valuable hundredths of a second in the changeover," he said.

“We will work on it. If we get that sorted, I am sure we will run a faster time in Saturday's final. 

"It is amazing to be in a relay-team with ‘okes’ who are so committed to succeeding. We have one goal, and that is to win a medal for South Africa."

African News Agency (ANA)

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