South African sprinter Shaun Maswanganyi
Roger Sedres/Gallo Images
South Africa’s Shaun Maswanganyi, Anaso Jobodwana and Clarence Munyai all qualified for the men’s 200m semi-final at the Olympic Stadium on Tuesday.
The trio competed in the morning heats of the 200m event, with the top three automatically qualifying, along with two of the fastest runners.
Jobodwana was up first and finished third in 20.78 seconds to book his place in his first Olympic semi-final.
The 29-year-old was delighted to progress through to the next stage after finishing fourth in the semi-finals in Rio.
“I’m happy, I bombed out at Rio. You’re only as good as your last Olympics,” said Jobodwana.
“This is new territory and I didn’t want to push it too much as long as I got the qualifying, I think I can take on any lane.”
It’ll be a quick turnaround for the athletes, with the semi-finals scheduled from 13:50 SA time on Tuesday.
“I’m confident that I’ll finesse something, I’ll see. I think I’m good,” said Jobodwana.
Maswanganyi, who reached the semi-finals in the men’s 100m on Sunday, was up next as he crossed the finish line second in 20.58 seconds.
“I messed up a bit in the curve, but I don’t want to push too hard in the heat, I got a semi-final later and I just need to go out and execute. But I’m happy,” said Maswanganyi.
Maswanganyi says he is looking more comfortable as he competes in his preferred event.
“At least I got the jitters out of the way and I’ll be fine. I’m more confident going in and acclimatising and adapting,” said Maswanganyi, who studies in Texas.
Munyai then struggled to keep pace with American Noah Lyles in his heat as he finished fourth in 20.78 seconds.
Munyai’s time was enough to see him sneak a qualification for the semi-finals.
*Lynn Butler is in Tokyo covering the Olympic Games for Sport24