Strong first run for Akani Simbine, Sunette Viljoen still winning in javelin
CAPE TOWN – He fell just short of breaking the 10-second barrier, but Akani Simbine can be well pleased with his season-opening performance in the 100 metres on Tuesday.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games champion, running in the Athletics SA Athletix Invitational Meet in Johannesburg, clocked 10 seconds flat (10.00) to claim victory at the Ruimsig Athletics Stadium in Roodepoort.
Simbine’s coach, Werner Prinsloo, told Independent Media last week that his star athlete was aiming to just get going again after a long break due to Covid-19, which saw him last run in Europe in September 2020.
The 27-year-old has been training since last November, and was keen to get back on to the track ahead of the international season. His 10.00 winning time (with a +2.1m/s wind) was comfortably ahead of Luxolo Adams, who also ran a quick mark of 10.08 on Tuesday, with third place shared by Duke Kuali and Zimbabwean Ngoni Makusha (10.27).
Simbine is likely to be in action again later this week at the Athletics Gauteng North provincial championships at TUKS Stadium in Pretoria, which takes place on Thursday and Friday.
In other men’s events on Tuesday, SA record-holder Antonio Alkana posted a solid time of 13.69 to win the 110m hurdles, with Tiaan Kleynhans second in 13.81, with former national record-holder Ruan de Vries third with 14.07.
There was a surprise in the 400m, with Botswana’s Isaac Makwala finishing fourth in 46.82, with his countryman Ditiro Nzamani winning in 45.27, while Johannesburg teenager Lythe Pillay put in another impressive display to end second in 45.55.
It was also a long jump competition to remember, as the top three all breached the eight-metre mark – Cheswell Johnson (8.14m), Divan Manuel (8.02m) and Jovan van Vuuren (8.01m).
In the women’s events, star SA sprinter Tamzin Thomas pulled up with a hamstring injury while well ahead in the 100m, and she eventually crossed the line in 13.35, with Boipelo Tshemese clinching top spot in 11.45.
Veteran javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen claimed the honours once more in 58.00m, while Botswana’s former 400m world champion Amantle Montsho stopped the clock at 53.78.
ASA Athletix Invitational Meet Selected Results
1 Akani Simbine 10.00
2 Luxolo Adams 10.08
3 Duke Kuali and Ngoni Makusha 10.27
1 Ditiro Nzamani (Botswana) 45.27
2 Lythe Pillay 45.55
3 Zakithi Nene 45.78
1 Antonio Alkana 13.69
2 Tiaan Kleynhans 13.81
3 Ruan de Vries 14.07
1 Kyle Blignaut 20.85m
2 Jason van Rooyen 20.24m
3 Werner Visser 16.05m
1 Cheswell Johnson 8.14m
2 Divan Manuel 8.02m
3 Jovan van Vuuren 8.01m
1 Boipelo Tshemese 11.45
2 Sherley Nekhubvi 11.56
3 Reabetswe Moloi 11.57
1 Amantle Montsho (Botswana) 53.78
2 Oratile Nowe (Botswana) 53.99
3 Thomphang Basele (Botswana) 54.20
1 Sunette Viljoen 58.00m
2 Nikol Tabackova (Czech Republic) 57.15m
3 Jo-Ane van Dyk 54.39m