Akani Simbine (far right) dips at the line to finish third in London on Saturday, with Ronnie Baker (third from right) taking the honours. Photo: Andrew Boyers/Action Images via Reuters

LONDON – South African sprint star Akani Simbine produced a polished performance to finish third in the men’s 100 metres at the Anniversary Games Diamond League meeting at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Racing in the final event on day one of the two-day meeting, Simbine clocked 9.94 to be just outside his season best of 9.93 that he recorded in the heats earlier in the afternoon.

The 9.94 time showed a level of consistency as prior to the London event, this had been his season-best effort set at the Diamond League meeting in Paris on June 30.

Victory in London went to American Ronnie Baker in 9.90, with Britain’s Zharnel Hughes second in 9.93.

Baker, along with fellow American Noah Lyles, shares the fastest 100m outdoor season time of the year at 9.88.

Lyles was not in action in London as he had run over 200m the previous night in the Diamond League meeting in Monaco.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Sunette Viljoen returned to the same arena where she took the honours for Team SA at the eight-nation World Cup Athletics last weekend, but this time things did not work out in her favour.

Her second throw of the afternoon proved to be her best of the competition, landing at the 60.34 metres mark, well short of last Saturday’s winning effort of 61.69m.

Viljoen’s performance saw her finish in a sixth spot well short of the winning distance of 65.54m by China’s Lyu Hui Hui.

Wenda Nel ended fifth in the 400m hurdles in 55.67, with American Shamier Little claiming victory in 53.95.

The South African contingent in London will be hoping for a better day on Sunday, with in-form world long jump champion Luvo Manyonga quite possibly the country’s best chance of making it to the top of the medal podium. 

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Others in action at the London Stadium on Sunday will be Rikenette Steenkamp (100m hurdles), Ruswahl Samaai (long jump), Antonio Alkana (110m hurdles) and Ncincilili Titi (200m).

African News Agency (ANA)

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