South Africa: World Relay Gold for SA Men’s Quartet Builds Olympics Hope

South Africa’s sprint quartet’s 4x100m gold medal at the World Relay Championships at the weekend increased their claims for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics later this year. But they’ll have to pick up the pace.

South African 100-metre champion Akani Simbine showed why he is among the world’s elite sprinters as he overcame a three-metre deficit when he took the baton on the final leg of the 4x100m World Relay Championships race in Silesia, Poland on Sunday.

Three metres on the track over 100-metres with a flying start, is roughly a 0.4 second deficit on the clock. Simbine made that up with every millimetre to spare. He dipped for the line to give SA gold over Brazil, whose final leg sprinter Paulo Andre Camilo de Oliveira, faded in the final 10 metres.

With the flying start, Simbine’s final split was timed at 9.03 seconds. He recently clocked a wind-assisted 9.82 seconds in the 100m semi-final at the SA Nationals in Pretoria. Simbine is not only displaying the form of a potential Olympic medallist but the big-race temperament of one too.

In Sunday’s final, Simbine ate up the metres and then, with great composure and timing, dipped on the line,…

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