Having narrowly missed out on the podium at the last three major global championships, national 100m record holder Akani Simbine says he is driven by the desire to secure a medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
While Simbine earned 100m gold at the Commonwealth Games and the African Championships in 2018, he fell just short by finishing fifth in the sprint final at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2017 World
Championships in London, before finishing fourth at the World
Championships in Doha last year.
He hoped, however, that his consistency would carry him a step further at the Tokyo Games, and while athletics remained suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, he was eager to light up the track when the international season resumed.
“I’m really, really hungry,” Simbine said in an interview released by Athletics South Africa this week.
“There’s nothing really in my way. I just want to race hard and race fast, and when I get to the circuit I will be a totally different beast.”
Though the Tokyo Olympics had been postponed until next year, the delay had done nothing to affect Simbine’s focus.
After cementing his place among the fastest men in the world, he
believed commitment and confidence were key to reaching the top of the podium at the quadrennial Games.
“You’re always racing against other guys, but I feel like it’s going to be me against myself,” Simbine said.
“It’s about the belief I have in myself and what I can do because what I believe I can do is literally crazy.
“But it’s something I am determined to achieve. I just need to come to the party and put in the work.
“I’m making the sacrifices I need to make and putting Tokyo first, before everything else, because my journey to Tokyo is that important to me and my life.”