Japan's Abdul Hakim Sani Brown, second left, races alongside South Africa's Akani Simbine in a men's 4x100 meter relay semifinal at the World Athletics Championships in Doha on Friday. Photo: AP Photo/Petr David Josek

JOHANNESBURG – The 4x100m relay quartet raised South Africa's prospects of a medal at the IAAF World Championships in Doha racing to a new African record for a spot in the final on Saturday evening. 

The foursome anchored by Akani Simbine were in rampant form winning their semi-final in a time of 37.65 seconds, chopping 0.59s off the previous South African record.  They took 0.29s off the continental record a Nigerian quartet set at the Athens 1997 World Championships. 

Promising youngster Thando Dlodlo got the team off to a good start before handing the baton to former South African 100m record-holder Simon Magakwe running the back straight. 

The second changeover between Magakwe and 200m specialist Clarence Munyai was a bit scrappy but they managed to hold their composure. 

Running the final leg of the relay, Simbine had Japan and China as company but stepped up a gear dropping the competition to win the race. 

It was the first time a South African team dipped below 38 seconds clocking the second-fastest time of the semi-finals, just 0.09s slower than the British team that won the first race. 

The South African quartet has the best chance at winning South Africa’s first 4x100m relay team to win a medal at the global showpiece since 2001.

The quartet that time, made up of Morné Nagel, Corne du Plessis, Lee-Roy Newton and Mathew Quinn, won gold at the 2001 IAAF World Championships in Edmonton, Canada.

@ockertde

 

IOL Sport

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