Akani Simbine dipped below 10 seconds in the semi-final and final of the 100 metres on Friday night. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

AKANI SIMBINE proved once again that he is the fastest man in South Africa when he clocked 9.95 seconds to clinch the 100m title at the national athletics championships in Potchefstroom on Friday night.

Simbine was quick out of the blocks, and although he trailed Thando Roto for the first half of the race, he roared back over the last 50 metres to go past his Gauteng North teammate and reclaim the SA title won by Henricho Bruintjies in Stellenbosch last year.

Young star Roto kept his legs pumping to the finish line, but was just pipped at the post by 400m Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk.

The 400m world record holder Van Niekerk recovered from a slow start to make up lost ground in the final 20m to dip on the line to end second with a time of 10.04 – identical to Roto, who was classified third.

Defending champion Bruintjies never quite got going on a chilly night at the McArthur Stadium, and had to be satisfied with fourth in 10.17.

There was drama just before the start of the race as Anaso Jobodwana withdrew with what appeared to be an ankle problem.

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