(L-R) Simon Magakwe, Sinesipho Dambile, Akani Simbine and Chederick Van Wyk celebrate after winning silver in the Men's 4x200m Relay Final at the IAAF World Relays. Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/EPA

YOKOHAMA – The Tuks sprinters played a significant role in helping South Africa won a silver medal in the 4 x 200m-relay at the c in Yokohama, Japan, on Sunday. 

What was remarkable about their performance is that they managed to improve on the national record during the heats as well as in the final. The Tuks printers are from the University of Pretoria as well as the TuksSport High School.

Jon Seeliger (Tuks), Anaso Jobodwana, Sinesipho Dambile (TuksSport High School) and Chederick van Wyk won their heat in a time of 1:20.64, which is nearly two seconds faster than the record set in 2002 in Port Elizabeth by Marcus la Grange, Matthew Quinn, Josef van der Linde and Paul Gorries.

Then Simon Magakwe, Van Wyk, Dambile and Akani Simbine (Tuks) were even faster in the final storming around the track in a time 1:20.42 improving again on the national record this time by 0.22s.

The United States held off a late charge from the South Africans to win gold in 1:20.12 with Germany third in 1:21.26.

Winning the silver medal means that Simbine can tick off his second goal for the season. The first was to win the 200m at the South African Championships which he did. Next was to ensure South Africa wins a medal at the World Relays.  

Now his most important challenge remains, and that is to win a medal in the 100m at the World Championships in Doha.

The 18-year-old Dambile is one of the youngest local athletes to win a medal at a senior world championship. 

Earlier this season he won the 200m during the Gauteng North Championships at Tuks in 20.43s. It was a world-class performance that ranks him seventh on the IAAF list of best accomplishments over 200m by an under-18 athlete. His time is also a new South African youth record.

It should be no surprise that Dambile has the legendary Usain Bolt as his role model.

"I feel as if I can relate to what he has achieved as we come from a sort of similar backgrounds. What I really appreciated from watching Bolt race is the joy he seemed to have gotten from sprinting.

"I got the idea that if you enjoy doing something, you will eventually succeed," explains the athlete who is sponsored by the Athletics Foundation Trust. 

African News Agency (ANA)