Akani Simbine (centre) is just edged out into second place by Zharnel Hughes (far left) in Boston. Photo: @adidasBoostBos via Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – A trio of South African athletes, spearheaded by national 100m record-holder Akani Simbine, made their presence felt on the international stage at the weekend.

Simbine and Dominique Scott-Efurd raced at the Adidas Boost Boston Games, with former world 200m bronze medallist Anaso Jobodwana featuring at the Jamaica Invitational.

Racing on a raised track on Boston’s Charles Street, Simbine was pipped to the line, finishing second clocking a wind-aided 10.03 seconds.

Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes took the honours, dipping at the line in 9.99, with former world champion Yohan Blake of Jamaica rounding off the podium, posting a time of 10.17.

Jobodwana walked away with third place in his half-lap sprint race in cold and wet conditions at the Jamaica Invitational Meeting in Kingston, crossing the line in a time of 20.70.

The time may seem pedestrian compared to his season’s best of 20.07, but Jobodwana did well to land a spot on the podium. 

Local 18-year-old Christian Taylor took the spoils, crossing the line in 20.49, with two-time world 400m champion LaShawn Merritt of the United States posting the same time as Jobodwana, but bagging silver in a photo finish.

It was Jobodwana’s first race since he moved back to America to join up with his wife and first-born child.

Meanwhile, Scott-Efurd posted a new 1 500m personal best in Boston on Saturday. 

She has been a model of consistency, constantly lowering her lifetime bests in her middle-distance events.

The American-based Scott-Efurd will be happy with her first performance since joining Joe Bosshard’s training group, which includes world 3 000m steeplechase champion Emma Coburn of the United States.

Scott-Efurd crossed the line in fourth place with a time of 4:07.20, to knock 0.84 off the previous best set in 2017.

Ethiopia’s 2016 world indoor medallist Dawit Seyaum finished first with a time of 4:04.65, with American runner Charlene Lipsey of the United States bagging silver in 4:04.98.

Norway’s Karoline Grøvdal rounded off the podium, taking third place in 4:06.18.

Meanwhile, South African middle-distance queen Caster Semenya will be looking to take her red-hot form into the Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon in the US next Saturday.

The Commonwealth Games 800m-1 500m double gold medallist will go up against a quality field that includes world bronze medallist Ajee Wilson and perennial challenger Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi. 

Scott-Efurd will also line up in Eugene, where she will be racing in the 5 000m at Hayward Field.

She will be lining up against some of the globe’s best distance athletes such as Kenyan world champion Hellen Obiri and Ethiopian star Genzebe Dibaba.

 

IOL Sport