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WATCH: Silver for Akani Simbine in 100m as Ferdinand Omanyala rules the Commonwealth

South Africa's Akani Simbine was unable to catch Kenya's Ferdinand Omanyala in the 100m final at the Commonwealth Games. Picture: John Sibley/Reuters

South Africa's Akani Simbine was unable to catch Kenya's Ferdinand Omanyala in the 100m final at the Commonwealth Games. Picture: John Sibley/Reuters

Published Aug 4, 2022

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Cape Town – The two African brothers went toe-to-toe, but there could only be one winner. Defending champion Akani Simbine fought hard, but it was Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala who was smiling in the end to win the 100m final at the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday night.

Omanyala got the jump on Simbine at the start and stormed into the lead, and it was too much ground to make up for the South African.

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In fact, Simbine did well to edge out the rest of the field to get the silver medal as he clocked 10.13 seconds, trailing Omanyala’s 10.02 winning time.

The Kenyan is the African record-holder with a personal best of 9.77 seconds, but it was all about the title at the Alexander Stadium.

The muscular Omanyala burst out of the blocks and never relinquished his advantage, and the gold medal will be a welcome consolation after visa problems affected his title bid at the world athletics championships in Eugene, Oregon a few weeks ago.

Simbine recovered to show his class in the second half of the race as he dipped on the line to finish ahead of Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon, who clinched the bronze in 10.14, with Ghana’s Benjamin Azamati fourth in 10.16.

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There was more glory on the athletics track for Mzansi on Wednesday night, with Charl du Toit securing a silver medal in the men’s T37/T38 100m final.

Australia’s Evan O’Hanlon charged to victory in 11.23 – which was a new Games record in the T37 category – while 29-year-old former Paralympic champion Du Toit clocked 11.54, which was also a new Commonwealth mark for the T38 category.

Earlier in the evening, South African long-distance specialist Dominique Scott fought hard to stay in the eight-strong lead group for most of the women’s 10 000m final, but the top four athletes eventually broke away.

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The 30-year-old American-based former Capetonian kept going to the end, and managed to claim seventh position in a time of 31 minutes 25.18 seconds (31:25.18), which was a solid effort that was not far off her personal best of 31:00.14.

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Scotland’s Eilish McColgan – daughter of former world champion and Olympic silver medallist Liz, who won the 10 000m Commonwealth title twice – emulated her mother by taking the gold medal with a well-timed kick on the home straight to emerge victorious in a new Games record of 30:48.60.

Kenya’s Irine Cheptai couldn’t match McColgan’s gritty finish, and had to settle for the silver in 30:49.52, and she was followed by compatriot Sheila Kiprotich in third (31:09.46).

In the swimming pool at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, despite a thrilling performance by Lara van Niekerk, the women’s 4x100m medley relay squad just missed out on a medal in the final on Wednesday night.

Rebecca Meder (backstroke), Van Niekerk (breaststroke), Erin Gallagher (butterfly) and Aimee Canny (freestyle) had the fourth fastest qualifying time, and were hoping to go one better and get onto the podium.

But while 50m and 100m breaststroke champion Van Niekerk stormed to a 100m time of 1:05.56, it was not enough as South Africa ended fourth in 3:59.63, with Australia taking gold in 3:54.44.

South Africa’s Dune Coetzee finished eighth in the women’s 400m freestyle final in a time of 4:15.53, while Meder also made it to the final of the women’s 50m backstroke and ended eighth in 28.66.

Team SA are now on 20 medals overall – six gold, seven silver and seven bronze.

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