Akani Simbine dips under 10sec to run fastest 100m of 2021
CAPE TOWN - He nearly got there last week, but on Saturday, Akani Simbine broke the 10-second barrier for the first time this season to win the 100m title at the Athletics Gauteng North championships in Pretoria.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games champion stopped the clock in 9.99 seconds to triumph at the TUKS Stadium – a new world leading time for 2021.
It was actually a remarkable time, considering that he was running into a headwind of -3.0m/s, according to the results website athletics-info.co.za.
Simbine showed in his opening heat on Saturday that he meant business by crossing the line in 10.13, which was well ahead of any other athlete.
He eased up in the semi-finals to win in 10.24, but saved his best of 9.99 for last by speeding to victory by over two-tenths of a second to his nearest challenger, Gift Leotlela, who ran a solid time of 10.20 to claim the silver medal.
Thando Dlodlo finished third in 10.35, while Emile Erasmus came fourth in 10.38.
The 9.99 by Simbine was one-hundredth of a second quicker than the 10.00 he produced at the first Athletics South Africa Athletix Invitational Meet in Johannesburg last week.
He will be back for the second invitational meet in Johannesburg on Tuesday, where he will race in the 200m.
Simbine will come up against a top field that will include 2017 200m world championship silver medallist Wayde van Niekerk, who clocked 20.64 in his season opener in Potchefstroom last Tuesday.
Not only that, 2015 bronze medallist Anaso Jobodwana is also back in South Africa after a stint in the United States, and he will look to make an immediate impression in order to set an Olympic qualifying time of 20.24.
Another top athlete, 2018 African championship bronze medallist Luxolo Adams – who finished second in the 100m to Simbine last week in a good time of 10.08 – will also be in the 200m field on Tuesday, where his personal best is 20.01.
The invitational meet will start at 3pm at the Ruimsig Athletics Stadium in Roodepoort.