Simbine: something big is on the way
Akani Simbine is predicting big things this year — a massive 100m final at the SA championships and then a fast time later in the season.
He ran his fastest time on home soil at the Gauteng North championships in Pretoria on Saturday‚ an impressive 9.92sec, but was disappointed after a poor start.
Simbine‚ an Olympic 100m finalist last year, and the SA record-holder at 9.89sec‚ had to go all out to catch Thando Roto who finished second in 9.95. It was the first time two South African sprinters had broken 10 seconds in the same race.
But if that’s what Simbine does on a bad day‚ imagine what he will do when he hits his peak later in the season — hopefully at August’s world championships in London.
“I honestly feel like there’s something big coming‚” said Simbine‚ who has now dipped under 10 seconds on nine occasions‚ six of them in his last eight outings.
“Last year I started off with that 9.96 [a South African record at the time] and everybody was asking: ‘Are you sure you’re not peaking too early?’.
But I ended with a faster time and made the Olympic final. “I don’t think running fast means peaking too early. We haven’t started our 150m‚ 250m sessions.
They are the ones that make me faster.” Simbine will run again at the national championships in Potchefstroom next month‚ hoping to reclaim the crown he lost last year because of a hamstring injury.
“It’s going to be huge‚” he predicted. “A few records will fall. I feel history will be made. More than two guys are going to go sub- 10; it will be one of the best 100m races in the world‚ not just here.” The 100m was just one highlight at the Tuks athletics stadium.
Others were Olympic silver medallist Luvo Manyonga’s 8.62m to break Khotso Mokoena’s African longjump record‚ Soks Zazini’s world under-18 best time of 48.84sec in the 400m hurdles and Gift Leotlela breaking Simbine’s SA under-20 100m mark in 10.12sec.
Friedrich Pretorius became only the second SA athlete after Willem Coertzen to better 8 000 points in the decathlon.