But this is the first time ever that SA has gone through three major meets without athletics silverware, after Doha 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics last year. The previous longest drought was two meets.
The relay selectors made two changes from the heats team, bringing in Gift Leotletla for Henricho Bruintjies, who later announced on social media that he wouldn’t make himself available for the Commonwealth Games.
The other change was positional, switching Emile Erasmus from the second leg to the first, but this team seemed under-drilled for this precision event.
The SA men’s 4x400m relay team failed to pitch for their heats, and a spectator might have been forgiven for thinking it was them who had accidentally stumbled onto the track for the 4x100m final.
Apart from Simbine’s push on the final leg, which at 8.77sec was faster than even Canada’s Andre De Grasse (8.79), there was nothing similar between this team and the one that triumphed at World Relays in Poland last year. SA later lost that gold medal after Thando Dlodlo, who started the relay, tested positive for a banned substance.