SA medal hopeful Zazini pulls out of IAAF World Championships

by FariedaSeptember 19, 2019

The list of top South African athletes not available for the IAAF World Championships in Doha continues to grow, with rising star Sokwakhana Zazini the latest to pull out.

The 19-year-old was a medal hopeful in the men’s 400m, where he boasts a personal best of 48.73 seconds, which he achieved in Italy early in 2019.

Foot injury forces Sokwakhana Zazini out of Doha

He has been ruled out of the world champs, which run from 27 September to 6 October in the Qatari capital.

Zazini pulled out with a foot injury, which his coach Lucinda Pienaar admitted was not a massive cause for concern, but severe enough not to risk aggravating it by competing in the event.

“It is not a serious injury. If there were a chance that ‘Soks’ could medal at the World Championships, we would have considered risking it. But we had to be realistic.

“For him to have any chance of qualifying for the final, he would have had to dip under 49 seconds running close to his personal best of 48.73s.

“Mentally, at this stage, it is not possible. ‘Soks’ himself admitted that it would have been challenging to be focused when in pain while he warms up to compete.”

Lucida Pienaar

Pienaar indicated that Zazini’s time on the sidelines may be a chance for them to focus on other aspects of his development.

“‘Soks’ needs to get physically stronger as he is quite skinny, but there has never been time for him to do quality sessions in the gym as he was continually racing. Now we have got time to work on it.

“There are a few other aspects of his training that have been neglected.”

Lucinda Pienaar

SA athletes out of the IAAF World Championships

Zazini adds to an illustrious list of South African athletes who will not be on the bill when the IAAF World Championships kick off.

The most notable of these absentees is 800m superstar Caster Semenya, whose career has been put on hold, pending her case against the governing body’s rule changes.

Another medal hopeful out of the tournament is reigning 400m world champion, Wayde van Niekerk, who is still on the mend from an injury picked up in 2017.

Also out is the country’s fastest woman Carina Horn, who was pulled out after testing positive for a banned substance.


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