South African 100m Champion and Record holder Akani Simbine has fired warning shots ahead of the London 2017 World Championships, stunning a star-studded field which included USA’s Justin Gatlin, to win the men’s 100m at the Doha Diamond League.
The Rio 2016 Silver medallist was favoured to win the event going by his impeccable Diamond League record in the last two years. However, Simbine who finished 5th in Rio was the man for the job and he did not disappoint, storming to victory in 9.99s, his sixth sub-10 run of the season.
The highly experienced Asafa Powell followed in a Season’s Best (SB) of 10.08s as homeboy Femi Ogunode settled for 3rd in an SB of 10.13s. Gatlin finished a shocking 4th with an SB of 10.14s, while Canada’s Andre De Grasse followed in 10.21s.
Cote dÍvoire’s Ben Youssef Meite, Ronnie Baker of the USA and veteran Kim Collins clocked 10.21s, 10.24s and 10.33s respectively.
Simbine is certainly gunning for the podium come August. He finished ahead of 400m World Record (WR) holder Wayde Van Niekerk at the South African Championships where he clocked 9.95s.
He currently sits at No.2 on the 2017 world rankings with his SB of 9.92s, and owns six of the Top 10 times in the world this year.
It remains to be seen if he can maintain and even improve on this form ahead of the World Championships.