Wednesday, 05 July 2017 14:19

Simbine yet to run his best 100m race

Akani Simbine has yet to fire on all cylinders in the 100 metres.

This was his coach, Werner Prinsloo’s promise after Simbine on Tuesday night finished second in the 100m as well as in the 200m at the Gyulai Istvan Memorial Meeting in Budapest.

Justin Gatlin (USA) won the 100m in 9.98s with Simbine (Tuks/HPC) second in 9.99s. Isiah Young (USA) was third in 10.10s and Henricho Bruintjies (Tuks) fourth in 10.11s.

An hour later Simbine was also second in the 200m, running 20.21s. Young won in 20.14s with Dedric Dukes (USA) third in 20.44s.

Prinsloo said he would have been surprised if Simbine clocked faster times.

“It should be remembered this was the first time in three weeks that Akani raced again. It is one thing to train and something completely different to race. Last night was just about ‘cleaning the engine, blowing out the cobwebs’. I will put money on it that Akani is going to be much faster tomorrow night when he races at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne. He is again competing against a quality field.”

Prinsloo emphasised that Simbine’s one and only goal for this season is to medal at the World Championships in London.

“My whole programme is structured so as to ensure that Akani will be at his best at the World Championships.”

It will be the third time this season that Simbine and Gatlin (a silver medallist at last year’s Olympic Games) will face off in the 100m. Simbine won the first encounter in Doha with Gatlin levelling the score last night.

Ben Youssef Meite (Ivory Coast) whose season’s best so far is 9.99s, Young with a season’s best of 9.97s and Christopher Belcher (USA) with a season’s best of 9.93s will also definitely be sprinting to win.

It was not a good evening for the rest of the Tuks/HPC-athletes who competed in Budapest. Carina Horn was fourth in the 100m in a time of 11.21s. Blessing Okagbare (Nigeria) won in 11.11s.

Wenda Nel was sixth in the 400m hurdles clocking a time of 55.83s. Kori Carter (USA) won in 54.22s.

**LJ van Zyl and Cornel Fredericks (Tuks/HPC) will both compete in the 400m hurdles tomorrow in Lausanne. It will be the first time this season that the two South Africans will race each other. They have a way to bring out the best in each other.

Sunette Viljoen (javelin), Caster Semenya (800m) and Wayde van Niekerk (400m) are also competing in Lausanne.

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