Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
2 Jul 2015
9:21 am

Simbine breaks through 10-sec 100m barrier

Wesley Botton

Akani Simbine admitted he was relieved to break through the 10-second barrier on Wednesday night, after knocking on the door for more than a year.

Akani Simbine. Picture: ANA

The 21-year-old sprinter from Tuks became only the second South African to dip under the mark when he clocked 9.99 seconds, running into a 0.2m/s headwind, to win the men’s 100m race at the European Classic Permit meeting in Slovenia.

“I just told myself I needed to get out, and once I did that and had a good start, I just put my phases together,” the High Performance Centre athlete said on Thursday morning.

“I’m just happy my start was good because that’s what I was worried about going into the race.”

Simbine had set his previous personal best of 10.02 at the SA Senior Championships in April last year when he was edged by Simon Magakwe’s historic 9.98 performance.

With Magakwe sidelined for breaking anti-doping rules, Simbine had produced consistent form in the first half of the 2015 campaign, narrowly missing out on a career record on multiple occasions.

Locked in a battle against the likes of Henricho Bruintjies and Anaso Jobodwana to become the second South African to go under 10 seconds, he was surprised to have done so in conditions that were not ideal for fast times.

“I’m pretty shocked that I was running into a headwind and still ran nine seconds, which is good,” Simbine said.

“I’m pretty happy with my race, being able to put my phases together and get everything right.

“I’m really relieved that I got out there and did what I said I was going to do by running under 10 seconds in Europe.”

Simbine confirmed he would race again in the men’s 100m heats at the World Student Games in Gwangju, South Korea, next week.