Akani Simbine Breaks South African 100m Record Ahead Of Olympics
Sprinter Akani Simbine has broken the South African 100m sprint record during a race at the Istvan Gyulai Memorial Track and Field competition in Budapest, Hungary on Monday night.
With the Olympic Games in Rio only a few weeks away, Simbine put in a stellar performance to beat Jamaican sprinting icon Asafa Powell with a new SA record time of 9.89, leaning forward at the finish to edge in front of Powell, who finished second in 9.92.
The victory and new record will be a massive boost to the South African’s preparations for Rio 2016, where the fastest man in the country will be looking to muscle his way onto the podium against the best in the world.
Simbine was already the South African record holder over the 100m with a time of 9.96 set in Pretoria a few months ago, but that has now been improved upon.
The 22-year-old from Johannesburg also won the 200m race in Budapest to complete a wonderful night for the sprinter, improving on his previous best of 20.23, which he had set at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing last year, by winning in a time of 20.16.
Akani Simbine reacts on social media
Following the competition, Simbine posted a message on his Instagram account
“Another milestone accomplished and many more to come. Competing at this event was nothing but a blessing and I’m honoured to have competed with guys I looked up to when I was younger,” wrote Simbine.
“Blessed with 2 new PBs in one day and a National Record (9.89 and 20.16). All Glory goes to the Man upstairs as He never fails to show me that He’s still got my back,” he added.
The runner’s social media accounts have been flooded with messages of congratulations after his record breaking run in Hungary, and Simbine has tweeted his thanks to all his supporters.
“Thanks to everyone for wishing me well on achieving another milestone in my athletics career. I really appreciate all the love and support,” he tweeted from his official Twitter account.
Fellow South African Caster Semenya also broke a South African record over the weekend in Monaco, adding to an excellent period for South African track and field ahead of the Olympics.
The 25-year-old won the 800m race in a time of 1:55.33, beating her previous best of 1:55.45, which was achieved in Berlin when the South African won the world championship gold medal.