Munyai motors to 100m best in Pretoria | TeamSA - TeamSA

Munyai motors to 100m best in Pretoria


Clarence Munyai (Tuks) joined an elite group of South African sprinters on Saturday when he ‘blitzed’ the 100 metres in a time of 10.10 seconds at the Gauteng North Championships.

In the history of South African athletics, only nine other local sprinters have clocked 10.10s and faster times in the short sprint. If 20-year-old Munyai had done so a few days earlier, he would have set a new South African junior record, but he turned 20 on 20 February which means he competes as a senior athlete. Munyai’s previous best time over 100 metres was 10.20.

He was not the only youngster who impressed over the weekend. On Friday Sokwokhana Zazini (TuksSport High School) caused a big surprise in the 400m-hurdles when he won his heat in a time of 49.86s outsprinting Le Roux Hamman, the current South African senior champion, as well as LJ van Zyl.

It was only the third time that the World Youth Champion and youth world record holder had raced over the higher hurdles. However, his coach, Hennie Kriel, considered Friday’s race as Zanini’s first race in senior athletics. Kriel sees the first two races as a training experience.

Zazini chose not to run the final but said he would race at the South African Senior Championships in two weeks’ time, hinting that he is not just going to be there to make the numbers. He is going to race to win – that’s just the way he is. However his main goal remains to win the gold medal at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Finland.

Le Roux won the 400m-hurdles final in a time of 49.76s with Van Zyl second in 50.06s.

The 100 metres was the definite highlight of the Gauteng-North Championships – just a pity about the wind.

Anaso Jobodwana who decided to train at Tuks from now on won the 100m in a time of 10.07s, with Henricho Bruintjies (TUT) running 10.15s with African Junior champion, Thembo Monareng (Tuks), finishing in 10.18. Unfortunately, the wind from behind measured at 3.3 metres per second. Munyai chose not to contest the final.

Jobodwana (Tuks) ran 10.12s in the semi-final, but again the wind from behind was still too strong. When Munyai ran 10.10s in his semi-final the wind was measured at 1.9 metres per second which makes it legal.

Judging by Jobodwana and Munyai’s performances the 200m could be a certain highlight on Thursday during the Grand Prix meeting at Ruimsig. Both will be competing.

Jobodwana did hint that the two of them have unfinished business on the track, adding that he is excited to duel out with Munyai especially since they are now sort-of training partners at Tuks.

Munyai, who was on a definite high after running 10.10, is confident of another fast performance.

‘The 200m is my favourite distance. I’m way faster in it. If the conditions allow for it, I am confident of improving on my personal best time of 20.10s on Thursday. I know I am capable of running a sub-10sec race and sub 20 seconds. But I’m not going to get obsessed with it. It will happen. I just need to make sure I keep on doing the small things right.’

Rio Olympics 800m champion Caster Semenya easily won the 400m in a time of 52.45. She will also be training at Tuks from now. At the moment she is coaching herself, but is hoping to get somebody to help her.

Picture of Munyai courtesy of Reg Caldecott