South Africa’s 100m record holder, Akani Simbine began his 2017 outdoor season on a record breaking note, becoming the first South African athlete to clock a sub 10s and 20s in the 100m and 200m respectively, a feat he achieved on the same day while competing last weekend at the Athletics Gauteng North league meet.
Simbine first raced to a time of 9.93s which is the fastest 100m time this year, before coming back two hours later to dip below 20s in the 200m in 19.95s. This will see Simbine in World Leading (WL) marks in both events, pending ratification from the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF)
This is the first time that 2016 Rio Olympics finalist will be posting a sub 20s in the 200m, and he has gone on to become only the seventh man in history who ran below 10s and 20s on the same day.
Simbine is getting better by the day, and has now been able to run under 10s for the eighth time in his career. With his time last weekend being just 0.04s shy off his South African record of 9.89s; while his new 200m Personal Best (PB) is just 0.08s short of Anaso Jobodwana’s National Record (NR) of 19.87s.
Speaking after his race: “It wasn’t a priority to run a world lead or to run the fastest time in South Africa, I just wanted to put together my race and start the season with a well put together race. There is a whole lot more in the tank, and still a lot more to put into the tank, so I’m really excited and keen for the next coming sessions and the upcoming races because I’m excited to see what I can do”, he said.
Having gotten to the final of the 100m at the Rio Olympics where he finished 5th, and considering how well he has started this season, Simbine could be a strong medal contender in this year’s IAAF World Championships in London.