PRETORIA – Following his win in the men’s 100m race in a time of 10.05 seconds at the Athletix Grand Prix-meeting in Pretoria on Thursday, Akani Simbine, according to his coach, will run a much faster time next week at the South African Championships.
Coach Werner Prinsloo is confident that his athlete, Simbine, will keep improving.
“I would have been worried if Akani ran 9.92 as I am a firm believer in it not how you start but how you finish,” said Prinsloo.
“There is still a long season ahead. Because it is his first race of the season I am happy with a time of 10.05. We don’t want to be running sub-10 races now, and by the end of the season when it matters, he battles to do so.
“Last night the focus was on executing his acceleration over the first 60 metres to perfection. During training, we worked quite hard on it. If Akani gets that right, he will race to fast times as his top end speed is always good.
“I am confident that he will run sub-10 in the semi-final or the final of the South African Championships as the conditions for sprinting will be better. Akani tends to race better at championships as he gets faster and faster in the build-up to the final.”
The Tuks-athlete will be competing in the 100m and the 200m at the national championships. Prinsloo admits to it not being their original plan. But in 2016 Simbine was not selected to race the 200m at the Olympic Games, because he did not compete in the longer sprint at the national championships.
The season has finally started. Thank you to everyone that came out to support and fill up the stadium!!!! Last night belonged to you all that were in the stands!!!! South Africa stand up! 🇿🇦 👏 #athletixmagicmeets pic.twitter.com/VTn2J8YmxG
“Akani has set his mind on competing in both sprints at the African Championships. In light of that, we are not taking any chances. That is why he is racing both sprints. Perhaps it is not bad that he is doing both as it will help Akani to get race-fit before the Commonwealth Games.”
If the weather allows, Prinsloo is confident that Simbine might also dip under 20 in the 200m.
Clarence Munyai (Tuks) who was second on Thursday in the 100m, running 10.22, has for the moment put racing the short sprint on hold.
“I know I can dip under 10 seconds, but because I am racing the 200 metres at the Commonwealth Games it is important that I now only focus on running the perfect race over the longer sprint,” said Munyai, who earlier this season improved his 100m time to 10.10.
African News Agency (ANA)