Another of South Africa’s increasingly slim medal opportunities slipped away at the World Athletics Championships on Friday morning (SA time) as Luxolo Adams trailed home in eighth place in the men’s 200m final in Eugene.
Competing on day seven of the track and field showpiece, Adams crossed the line in 20.47 seconds, well off the pace of Noah Lyles who clocked a lightning fast 19.31 to lead an American podium sweep.
After enjoying a breakthrough season, Adams did well to reach the final, but SA fans would have been quietly hoping for him to spring a surprise.
With the national team having missed out on the podium at the 2019 World Championships in Doha and last year’s Tokyo Olympics, opportunities were again running out with three days of action left in Eugene.
The squad’s best chance of ending their drought rests on the shoulders of comeback sprinter Wayde van Niekerk, who lines up in the men’s 400m final on Saturday morning.
Also, while Akani Simbine settled for fifth place in the men’s 100m final, he is set to return to the track this weekend when he anchors the national 4x100m relay team, who could target a medal if they are able to gel together.
Though she is facing a battle, 20-year-old Prudence Sekgodiso is hoping to keep her medal hopes alive in the women’s 800m semifinals on Saturday, after progressing beyond the heats on Friday, while the national 4x400m relay teams will be eager to punch above their weight in an attempt to get the SA team on the table.