The University of Pretoria’s ace sprinter, Akani Simbine, had an incredible 2015 season, which saw him become the first South African to run the 100m in under 10 seconds on more than one occasion. On top of that he was crowned the World Junior 100m champion and qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Unfortunately, 22-year-old Simbine may not be running in the Varsity Sports Athletics meetings in 2016, but he’ll definitely be competing later in the season. Simbine has been a part of the Tuks athletics programme for four years and is completing his final year of his BSc Information Science degree.
“I’m not running at the moment due to a few injury niggles,” said Simbine. “But when I do race my goal is just to get through the race. I’m planning to make my return at the AGM Champs [Northern Gauteng] later this year.”
Simbine is a Gauteng boy through and through, having been born in Kempton Park and finished school at Edenglen High School. He qualified for the Olympics off the back of an impressive 2015 season and is looking forward to the global event.
“I’ve qualified for the Olympics and we are awaiting the team selection. If I do make the cut I want to make the final in the 100m and 200m in Rio. Last year I missed the World Champs 100m final by one position. I’d also like to run a personal best,” explained Simbine.
In last season’s Varsity Athletics meeting in Potchefstroom, Simbine clocked a 10.09 in the 100metres and a few weeks later ran a 21.00 in the 200metres, in Stellenbosch.
If last year is anything to go by Simbine may not only reach an Olympic final, but have the opportunity to push for a medal at the Rio Olympics.
By Dan Lombard