Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
18 Mar 2017
4:59 pm

Thando Roto joins SA sprinting elite

Wesley Botton

Roto finished second in the senior men's final on day two of the Gauteng North provincial championships.

Thando Roto of South Africa in the heats of the mens 100m during the morning session on day 1 of the CAA 20th African Senior Championships at Kings Park Athletic stadium on June 22, 2016 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Roger Sedres/Gallo Images)

The latest athlete to spin off the elite sprinters’ conveyor belt in Pretoria, Thando Roto has become the fifth South African speedster to dip under the 10-second barrier in the 100m dash.

Roto finished second in the senior men’s final on day two of the Gauteng North provincial championships on Saturday, with the 21-year-old athlete clocking 9.95 to rip 0.23 off his personal best set in Potchefstroom last month.

In-form national record holder Akani Simbine, who won his heat earlier in the day in 9.98, went on to earn the provincial title in 9.92.

In the junior men’s heats, Gift Leotlela was also in spectacular form, shattering Simbine’s national junior record of 10.19 which had stood for a little more than four years.

Leotlela, the 200m silver medallist at last year’s U-20 World Championships in Bydgoszcz, covered the short-sprint distance in 10.12 to clip 0.08 off his personal best.