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Team SA off to U20 world champs in Kenya

Maswanganyi, Pillay lead 34-member athletics squad

Lythe Pillay of Team South Africa competes in the Men's 4x400 metres relay heats on day fourteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 06, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Lythe Pillay of Team South Africa competes in the Men's 4x400 metres relay heats on day fourteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 06, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Image: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After the disappointing performance of the senior track and field team at the Olympic Games in Japan,  Athletics SA is shifting its focus to the World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Kenya.

ASA boss James Moloi left the country with the under-20 squad for the championships in Nairobi from Wednesday until Sunday.

There is no rest for Shaun Maswanganyi and Lythe Pillay, who were part of the Olympic squad. Maswanganyi reached the men’s 200m semifinals, while Pillay took part in the 4x400m relay in Tokyo.  

Maswanganyi, 20, will run in the 100m and 200m races while Pillay will run in the 400m.

Moloi travelled with 34 athletes and is confident that SA will have a great competition.

“Pillay and Maswanganyi had a taste of a Major championship at the Olympic Games. Stage fright will not be a problem for them any more. We expect them to make the podium. There is no pressure on the team, but we are targeting a couple of medals,” Moloi told Sowetan before their departure yesterday.

Luke Davids, 20, of Western Cape Athletics will run in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.

Moloi said the future is bright for local athletics. “We are on a mission to unearth the Akani Simbine of tomorrow, and we have a couple of young athletes ready to step up. In a few years, these athletes will move to the senior ranks. We have a good balance and the future is bright,” said Moloi.

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