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Teenage runner Muzala Samukonga copped a brutal reality check after the heats of the men’s 400m at the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday.
The Zambian runner left nothing in the tank as he won his heat by a mile and knocked 0.13 seconds off his personal best.
However he was left in agonising pain and collapsed to the track after the race.
He was seen grabbing his left hamstring and punching his thigh in distress after attempting to get back to his feet and collapsing again.
Medics rushed to the 19-year-old runner's aid and he was taken from the track in a wheelchair in distress.
— 7Sport (@7Sport) August 3, 2022
Retired Australian runner Tamsyn Manou suggested Samukonga was suffering from “lactic acid pain”.
“He’s in liquorice there. Definite all sorts,” Manou said on Channel 7.
“That’s just lactic acid pain pulsating through those legs.
“It’s horrendous. He’s got it that badly. He’s got it really bad. He’s going to take a while to recover from that.
“He’s going to need an ice bath for a while.”
Samukonga advanced to the semi-finals with the fastest heat time of 44.89 seconds - the first time he has ever gone under 45 seconds.
However his participation in the semis is under a cloud.
“Maybe he thought 'I may never get a chance to run sub-45 (seconds) again',” British former middle-distance runner Tim Hutchings said in local commentary.
“I think most coaches would say, ‘it’s great to run a personal best, but actually this is just extravagant and you will pay for it’.
“That’s a 10m winning margin - and more by the time he hits the line.
“Really, really unnecessary. No one else goes under 46 seconds.
“He runs 44.89 seconds and dare I say, he’s the word naive. An incredible run, but I hope that’s not the last we see of him in Birmingham.”
Peter Bol advances to 800m final
Meanwhile, national record holder Peter Bol made light of a pre-race injury scare to cruise into the men's 800m final.
Bol rolled his ankle when stepping on the curb at the training track on Tuesday.
Not that you would have known it, given the way he bossed his opening-round heat at Alexander Stadium 24 hours later.
The Australian went to the lead with 250 metres to run and enjoyed the luxury of easing right down in the final straight before crossing the line first in one minute 47.01 seconds.
After clocking the fastest qualifying time, Bol now has a full four days to reset ahead of the final on Sunday, where he will be among the gold-medal favourites.
"It felt good; that's crazy," said Bol, who was fourth at last year's Tokyo Olympics.
"I rolled my ankle yesterday and I was limping on the way back and today I'm perfectly fine, so it's a massive thanks to the medical team at Athletics Australia.
"I wasn't playing basketball, I promise.
"I just rolled it on the curb at the track. That's the first time ever."
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