South African sprinter Ashley Hlungwane hangs his hopes on a medal in the 4x400m World Championships to be held in the USA in July.
The Athletics Gauteng North athlete is optimistic about the chances of South Africa in the relays, and he believes that the relay presents the country with a realistic chance of securing a podium place finish in the Championships.
Hlungwane represented the country at the World Athletics Relay Championships in Poland last year and they qualified for the finals to secure their place in America.
SA secured fifth place in the final at 3:05:76 to receive a wild card for the World Championships.
“I feel good because it has been a while since we ran 4X4, I last won the 4X4 representing the country so now it feels great to be back in action” said Hlungwane.
The All Africa games silver medallist helped Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) to win the gold medal at the ASA Relays and Multi-events Championships in Sasolburg, Free State earlier this month.
AGN clocked 3:10:43 to win the national title, but they did not practice the changeover before the event.
“I can’t say it was bad, but it was (thinking)-in fact it was not that bad because we didn’t practice the hand-over, but other than we did good, the aim was to get gold coming here” Hlungwane went on.
The 31-year-old pulled out of his race in Botswana to get the feeling of running in the 4x400m relay. He used the ASA Relay championships as a warm-up for the World champs in America.
In the ASA Senior Track and Field Championships in Cape Town Hlungwane travelled in a bus and he believes that the long hours of traveling affected his performance.
He failed to make the 400m final securing fifth place in 47.87 seconds.
“In Cape Town I did well but it was tough due to the fact that I had lower back and reflex injury so I was struggling with my hamstring as well but I did good. Other than that even the travelling because we travelled with a bus, I didn’t fly down there so the travelling was still on my legs but other than that I did good” said Hlungwane as he concluded.
By Charles Baloyi