South Africa’s Akani Simbine Overpowers Kenya’s Best

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– Akani Simbine wins 100m at Atlanta City Games.

– Simbine beats Kenya’s Omanyala in thrilling race.

– Omanyala fails to break 10-second barrier.

– Simbine sets world lead for the year.

South Africa’s Akani Simbine sent a strong message of intent to fellow African sprinters after winning the 100m at the Atlanta City Games on Saturday, May 18.

The race offered an opportunity for two of the best African sprinters to renew their rivalries as they prepare for another battle against American sprinters at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France.

Kenya’s Omanyala got off the blocks first, but Simbine clawed back to beat him in the second half to set the world lead this year. The Kenyan star failed to dip under 10 seconds yet again, clocking 10.00 seconds to come in second.

The 30-year-old is a former African champion and the record holder. He was dethroned by Omanyala, whose personal best of 9.77 seconds is the fastest time ever run by an African athlete.

In the first round, Simbine won his heat with a time of 10.10 seconds, while Omanyala used 10.12 seconds to win his heat.

In the first round, Simbine won his heat with a time of 10.10 seconds, while Omanyala used 10.12 seconds to win his heat.

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The conversation also included Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo, a former world record holder U-20 in the 100m. He bagged silver in the 100m at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest last year before winning bronze in the 200m.

Tebogo was in action earlier at the Los Angeles Grand Prix, where he finished second with 10.13 seconds behind Kyree King’s 10.11.

Akani Simbine Profile

Akani Simbine (born 21 September 1993) is a South African sprinter specialising in the 100 metres event.

He was fifth at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the men’s 100 metres and was the 100 metres African record holder with a time of 9.84 seconds set in July 2021 until broken by Ferdinand Omanyala in September 2021.

Simbine was a World Championships finalist in the men’s 100 metres in 2017 (fifth) and 2019 (fourth), and was 100 metres champion at the 2018 African Championships and 2018 Commonwealth Games. In the 4 × 100 metres relay, he helped South Africa become champions at the African Championships in 2016 and 2018, and place second at the 2018 Commonwealth Games with a South African record time of 38.24 seconds. He anchored South Africa to gold at the 2021 World Relays. Simbine has finished inside the top 5 in the last four major championship 100m races, including 4th in 2019 World Athletics Championships – Men’s 100 metres and Athletics at the 2020 Summer Olympics – Men’s 100 metres missing out on the bronze medal to Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse.

Circuit wins and national titles

  • Diamond League (100 m)
    • Doha: 2017
    • London: 2019
    • Rome: 2020
  • South African Championships
    • 100 m: 2015, 2017, 2021
    • 200 m: 2019

Seasonal bests

Year100 m200 m
20209.91 A
20219.8420.29 A w

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