This is perhaps the best way to describe Akani Simbine (Tuks/HPC) South African record breaking performance on Tuesday night in the 100m metres when he won in 9.96 seconds at the ASA Night Series Meeting at Pilditch. Simbine’s time is 0.01s faster than the South African record of 9.97s he shared with Henricho Bruintjies. Why scary comes into play is because before his race Simbine totally downplayed his chances of running a fast time.
He made it sound like it was going to be a nice season’s opener but then he went onto to sprung a major surprise. In fairness Simbine admitted afterwards that he surprised himself, saying: ‘The time I ran does not feel real especially since it is so still so easy in the season. I got to admit that I am surprised by the shape I am in. Werner, my coach, and I have not really even started to do speed work.’ In 2014 Simon Magakwe became the first South African sprinter to break 10 seconds in the 100 metres in a local meeting.
Simbine says: ‘It is amazing that I can be the second South African to show local fans how a sub 10 seconds race is run. I hope it won’t be the last time before the South African Championships in Stellenbosch that I do so.’ It might just happen over the weekend when he competes in the 100 metres at the Gauteng-North Championships on the same track. Actually it could be quite an exciting showdown because Bruintjies will also be competing in the 100 metres.
What will make the showdown double interesting is the fact that Simbine and Bruintjies became training partners last week. Prinsloo is coaching both. Asked whether he think he is capable of running a faster time than 9.96s Simbine immediately said yes: ‘I am confident that I can run a much faster time.’
The Tuks/HPC athlete was however not prepared to commit to a specific time. If Simbine can have one wish comes true it will be that big sponsors get involved with local athletics. He says: ‘I think since last year us as athletes really proved that we can be trusted when it comes to delivering good results. Imagine what we will be capable of with proper financial support. We might get up to the same level as the US sprinters.’
Another highlight on the night was Carina Horn (Tuks/HPC) qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio in a time of 11.23s. Alyssa Conley who finished second in 11.29s also qualified for the Games.
Photo credit: Reg Caldecott