SA’s Brilliant Young 200m Quartet
SA has a young Quartet of 200m athletes which we’ll call the ‘Marvellous 4’ ready for action at the World Championships in London. This is one of SA’s best represented events and we have a trio of male athletes and one female athlete ready to set the track ablaze. Wayde van Niekerk, Akani Simbine, Clarence Munyai and Justine Palframan! These are names household names that sound so familiar that you might confuse them as your friends, family or colleagues. The Marvellous 4 are among the best athletes in the World at Junior, Student and Senior level and we as South Africans have had the opportunity to see them progress into World Class athletes in front of our own eyes! The beauty of the quartet is that they are so young, with Van Niekerk being the ‘’oldest” at only 25, Simbine and Palframan are 24, and Munyai the youngest at 19 years.
Ladies first, so we’ll start by focusing on Justine Palframan who is included in the SA team to run in the 4 x 400m relay as well as the 200m, her main event.
The 200m is certainly Palframan’s strongest event and her 400m base work makes her a threat during Championships. Palframan is no stranger to competing at major international championships as she has competed at the World Youth Championships (2009), World Junior Championships (2010), World Championships (2013 & 2015), Olympics Games (2016) and now she will be part of the SA team again in 2017 and she her maturity and experience will be valuable as she looks to set the world ablaze.
Palframan’s Personal Best Times:
200m = 22.84 (2017)
400m = 51.27 (2015)
Palframan’s progression over the years:
Palframan has had consistent progression since 2012 in the 200m when she set an introductory time of 23.22, in 2014 she set a best of 23.03, followed by her first sub 23 seconds performance of 22.96 in 2015. 2017 has been a great year for Palframan as she set a PB of 22.84 seconds just weeks before the World Championships so she is certainly in her best form going into London and one can expect fast time from the 24-year-old.
Next up is the youngest athlete in the team part of the male 200m TRIO to London. He goes by the name of Clarence “McLaren” Munyai! This man has had a career that many athletes dream of and he is only 19 years old and growing in wisdom and stature.
Munyai’s Personal Best Times:
100m = 10.20 (2017)
200m = 20.10 (2017)
300m = 31.61 (2017) WJB
Muyai’s progression over the years:
Munyai’s main event is certainly the 200m and his progression in this event has been phenomenal since he ran onto the scene in 2015 at the age of 17.
In 2015 Munyai ran 20.77 in the 200m, in 2016 he improved that to 20.36 and 2017 he ran an astounding 20.10 PB which is also the new SA junior record.
The future is looking bright for the young 19-year-old Munyai and he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon being marked as another junior capable of doing what only one other junior athletes was able to do by going sub 20 seconds in the 200m. That other athlete by the way is legend Usain Bolt with a time of 19.93 seconds. World Champs in London will certainly be a great platform for Munyai to attempt this feat but either way the future ahead is looking great for the Venda sprinting sensation.
Second in the TRIO of SA male 200m Sprinting team is none other than Akani “AK47” Simbine! Simbine is a versatile and World Class 100m and 200m sprinter. His performance of 19.95 seconds in the 200m earlier this year sees him at at TOP 5 on the 2017 rankings list. Simbine has been consistently fast the whole year and recently came from a 5th place finish in the 100m final which will have him motivated to run fast in the 200m.
Simbine’s Personal Best Times:
100m = 9.89 SA Record
200m = 19.95
Simbine’s progression over the years:
Simbine’s 100m speed boasting an electric 9.89 has transferred into his 200m and vice versa as in 2014 he set a time of 20.37 in the 200m, in 2015 Simbine improved his best to 20.23 seconds, in 2016 he improved this to 20.16 seconds and in 2017 he went under the magical 20 second barrier for the first time with a time of 19.95 seconds. Simbine should be more relax after running his main event the 100m and that will make him dangerous.
Wayde Van Niekerk
The final athlete we will be focusing on in the 200m male TRIO to London is none other than Wayde “Dreamer” Van Niekerk. Van Niekerk can be seen as one of the most complete sprinter the world has ever seen with his versatility ranging from 100m to 400m. Van Niekerk has recently started focusing on the 200m event again and is running this event at a major Championship for the first time since World Junior Championships where he finished 4th. The 200m can be seen as his first love as that is where it all started for Van Niekerk.
Van Nierkerk is the first athlete to run sub 10 seconds in the 100m, sub 20 seconds in the 200m, sub 31 seconds in the 300m and sub 44 seconds in the 400m!! There are whispers of a possible sub 43 seconds in the 400m and we all know that “where there is smoke, there is fire”. Van Nierkerk has had a phenomenal season already and has gone sub 10 seconds in the 100m with a PB of 9.94, sub 20 seconds in the 200m with a PB time of 19.84, sub 31 seconds in the 300m in a PB time of 30.81 and sub 44 seconds in the 400m in a time of 43.62.
Van Niekerks Personal Best Times:
100m = 9.94
200m = 19.84
300m = 30.81 World Record
400m = 43.03 World Record
Van Niekerks progression of the years:
This will be Van Niekerk’s 200m debut at the World Championship as he aims to take on the double (400m and 200m) in London. Van Niekerk has been able to transfer his 100m speed and 400m speed endurance to become one of the biggest threats and favourite to win the 200m at the World Championships.
In 2014 Van Niekerk set a time of 20.19 in the 200m, in 2015 he went sub 20 seconds for the first time clocking 19.94 and finally in 2017 he improved this to 19.84 which is the new SA record and this time sees him 2nd fastest for the season behind Isaac Makwala who he will face both the 400m and 200m. Expect a thrilling final and Van Niekerk to break barriers as he attempts a double.
You don’t to miss these athletes in action!!
Written by Black Legend