Clarence Munyai at the sign showing his new record (19:69) at the 2018 ASA Championship in March 2018 Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

GOLD COAST – Clarence Munyai withdrew from South Africa’s 4x100m relay team after aggravating a hamstring injury in the 200m final at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on Thursday.

Tuks-sprinter, Emile Erasmus, will replace him for Friday’s heat.

Munyai finished fifth in the 200m-final at first, but Zharnel Hughes (England) who won to take the gold ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards was later disqualified for catching Richards in the face with his arm. 

Richards was upgraded to gold in 20.12 seconds. Munyai finished in 20.58 which was elevated to fourth.

Munyai was disappointed with his fourth place, but still managed to take something positive from his outing. 

“It is my first major final so I am happy to have finished. I knew it was going to tough challenge even before I got to settle in the starting blocks. Unfortunately, the hamstring injury that hindered me in the heats flared up again. It was quite painful when I raced. 

I am confident that it is not something serious, but I think it would be wise to take a two-week break,” said the Tuks sprinter who is currently the tenth fastest sprinter over 200m in the history of the sport. He clocked 19.69 at the national championships last month in Pretoria.

Tuks sprinter Emile Erasmus in action against Akani Simbine. Photo: Reg Caldecott

Erasmus who has just recovered from injury said they would only decide on Friday morning who is going to run which leg in the relay. 

Erasmus last year ran a personal best of 10.08 in the 100m. 

Erasmus is physically big for a sprinter. He is 1.93 metres tall and weighs approximately 100kg. The legendary Usain Bolt is 1.95 metres tall. When the Jamaican sprinter was in his prime, he weighed about 94kg.

“I will admit there were times over the last few years that I was tempted to go and play rugby. It is only my passion for athletics that prevented me from doing so. I love the speed challenge.”

Erasmus is confident that he is capable of running even faster times.

“At the moment the start is the strong point of my sprint. I am normally in front of the top sprinters over the first 30 or so metres, but then they start to pass me. It means I am seriously working on improving my top end speed.” 

African News Agency (ANA)

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