SOUTH AFRICAN SPRINTER AKANI SIMBINE SETS SIGHTS ON AFRICAN RECORD
Last Updated: 2017-05-16
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JOHANNESBURG, May 16 (NNN-SABC) -- South African sprint sensation Akani Simbine has set himself a target of breaking the African 100 metres record of 9.85 seconds after blazing to an impressive start to the season this year, running under 10 seconds on six occasions.

He's also committed to doubling in the 100 and 200 metres at the London IAAF World Championships in August. A week ago, Simbine won the 100 metres at the Doha Diamond League, clocking a time of 9.99 seconds.

It was a perfect start to Simbine's international campaign. He beat a quality field, including Jamaican Asafa Powell, Justin Gatlin of the United States and Canadian Andre de Grasse. That performance was a continuation of his good form after running the second fastest time in the world this year, 9.92 seconds at the South African Championships in April.

He now aims at dipping under the 9.85 seconds record set by Nigerian Olusoji Fasuba in 2006.

He said: "I really want to break the African record because it's something I believe I can do and as an athlete I want to improve myself; running 9.85 is not the end for me, it's going faster than 9.85 and keep improving on the record and not just the South African record but keep improving the African record as well."

The priority remains the 100 metres, but he is also aiming for a podium finish in the 200. "My goals for the double 100 and 200 is to get into the final, challenge for a medal in the 100 meters. I need to make sure I come back with a medal in the 200 meters. Iím going to make sure that I try and get into a medal position."

His build-up to the World Championships is different from the 2016 Rio Olympics. This year there's a lot of expectation. He said: "There is more expectation on people but I think I can live up to those expectations but I donít let it change what Iím going to do at the track. I come to the track with a mission and that is to win a race." -- NNN-SABC