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Simbine still has plenty of sizzling sprinting to come

All but overshadowed in the hype of Simon Magakwe’s new national 100m sprint record at the recent SA track and field championships, Akani Simbini is hoping to follow his fellow athlete under the 10 second barrier, writes Mark Etheridge.

Magakwe motored to a 9.98sec mark in Tshwane, bettering Johan Rossouw’s 26-year-old mark of 10.06 but Simbini was right on his heels with a 10.02 runners-up spot and also inside the old mark.

This weekend Simbine gets a second chance to show that his time was no flash in the pan at the USSA Championships at Pilditch Stadium, Pretoria.

Looking back to his record-breaking run Simbine said this week that it’s been a massive boost to his confidence levels.

“It was just a great feeling because I didn’t expect it. With regards to my confidence it does a lot because I am still only 20 years old and I have a lot more to learn and improve on. Another thing is that I’m much more hungry for that nine second time because I am so close to it.”

Talking about his expectations going into the nationals earlier this month he said: “I was hoping a high 10.0 something but nothing close to 10.02.”

And this weekend’s hopes in Tshwane for the Werner Prinsloo coached athlete? “I’m just hoping I can go 10.1 or sub 10.1.”

Away from the track Simbine, also a Zone VI Championships sprint champion is a third-year Information Science student. “I just need to complete my degree, hopefully┬á this year if I pass everything, and then I can be a full-time athlete.”