Munyai motors to his own bit of history behind Van Niekerk | TeamSA - TeamSA

Munyai motors to his own bit of history behind Van Niekerk


By Mark Etheridge

Clarence Munyai can be easily forgiven for thinking Meg Ryan’s classic movie of the 1990’s was called Sleepless in Ostrava rather than Sleepless in Seattle.

The Pretoria youngster may have been overshadowed by compatriot Wayde van Niekerk’s world-record breaking feats in the 300-metre on Wednesday night, but he was quietly playing a star role of his own.

As Van Niekerk rewrote the record books with his 30.81sec blitz at the Golden Spike meeting in Czech Republic, Munyai was making history of his own.

He placed third (behind Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, 31.44) in his own world record – a 31.61 world junior best.

That beats Mark Richardson’s 26-year-old old mark set back in 1991.

Understandably, Munyai was over the moon on Wednesday night as his feat sunk in. ‘I’m still very happy – but I probably won’t sleep for the next few days.

‘From the beginning my aim was to run the world junior record, but I didn’t expect to run sub-32, so I’m really happy. My plan was to get out hard and run a quick first 200m and then over the last 100m just keep the momentum going.’

On being part of the historic race: ‘It’s such an honour being in a world record race, because this race is real history and now I will also be part of history.

‘Wayde is just a very special athlete and we all knew he was going to break that record.’

But already Munyai is trying to keep his feet on the ground. Prior to last night, his best for the little-run distance was the 32.87 he ran earlier this year.

‘I have to re-focus now and look forward to the next big meet, the Rabat Diamond League in Morocco and hopefully perform as well as I did today.

‘This record has just motivated me even more to go out and run a sub-20 with this form.

‘I believe I can run sub 19.95. I just have to stay healthy, injury-free and motivated.’

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