SPRINTER Akani Simbine made a statement ahead of the Rio Olympic Games, setting a new South African 100m record at the Istvan Gyulai Memorial, a Track and Field meeting in Budapest, Hungary last night.
Simbine won the race in 9.89, dipping on the line to beat Jamaican star Asafa Powell, who finished second in 9.92.
He bettered his own national mark of 9.96 which had been set in Pretoria four months earlier.
Simbine’s performance was the second national record (both still need to be ratified) set in the space of four days, after Caster Semenya clocked 1:55.33 to win the Women’s 800m race at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco last week.
Simbine also won the Men’s 200m race in Budapest in 20.16, bettering his previous Personal Best of 20.23, which he had set at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing last year. He covered the half-lap distance 0.08 quicker than Isiah Young of the United States, who settled for second position.
“Congratulations to Simbine and Semenya, as well as their coaches and management teams,” said Aleck Skhosana, the President of Athletics South Africa.
“These performances show they are on track for the Rio Games, and we wish them well in their final preparations.”
In other events, LJ van Zyl was second in the Men’s 400m Hurdles in 49.78, edging out third-placed Rasmus Magi of Estonia by 0.01, with Keisuke Nozawa of Japan securing victory in 49.26. Antonio Alkana also grabbed second spot in the Men’s 110m hurdles, clocking 13.44, with Balazs Baji of Hungary taking the win in 13.33.
Alyssa Conley took fifth place in the Women’s 200m dash in 23.22, as Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica stormed to victory in 22.52.