Akani Simbine is peaking at the right time with the sprinter racing to a new South African record of 9.89s (+1.9) to win the men’s 100m at the Gyulai Istvan Memorial meet on Monday.
It was a race Simbine went neck to neck with Asafa Powell, and was not even in the lead, only to dip in first and secure the win. The South African did not even know he had won as he appeared to have been waiting to see what time he ran, only realising after the replays that he had done a new Personal Best (PB).
Powell finished 2nd in the race clocking 9.92s, with Mike Rogers 3rd running a time of 10.12s. Former World champion and evergreen Kim Collins placed 4th in the race in 10.13s.
This is not the first time Simbine is setting a National Record (NR) in the 100m. Earlier this year, he ran an NR of 9.96s to win the 100m at Pilditch Stadium in his home country.
With this new mark, Simbine is now ranked 5th in the world and has the 8th fastest time. Justin Gatlin, Trayvon Bromell, Jimmy Vicaut and Usain Bolt are the only athletes who have run faster than him this season.
After running the new NR in the 100m, Simbine also went on to set a new PB in the 200m, clocking 20.17s (0.7) to win the race. Isaih Young finished 2nd in the race with 20.24s, and Lykourgos-Stefanos Tsakonas 3rd in 20.34s. Simbine’s former PB in the 200m was 20.23s, which he set at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.
Simbine who finished 2nd in the men’s 100m at the African Championships, will fancy his chances of making the final at the Rio Olympics, and who knows, if he could even faster he might medal at the Games.
Meanwhile Olympic Champion Kirani James clocked 44.60s to win the men’s 400m as he aims to get in shape to defend his Olympic title. Tony McQuay finished 2nd in 45.08s, and Steve Gardiner 3rd with a time of 45.28s.