Simbine exceeded his own expectations on a cool Tuesday evening at the Pilditch Stadium in Pretoria by taking sole ownership of the South African 100m record in a blistering display at the Athletics SA Night Series Meeting. He beat Emile Erasmus (10,22) and Thando Roto (10,29) in the ninth race in which he has bettered the Olympic qualifying time of 10,16 seconds.
The 22-year-old athlete, who had shared the old record of 9,97 seconds with friend and teammate Henricho Bruintjies, was not anticipating a quick time ahead of the meet.
“I can go much faster time-wise, but I am sure I can go much faster than this. It is an amazing feeling, but it doesn’t feel real because it is my first race of the season. I’m surprised I’m in that shape already because we haven’t done much work and I’m not really race-fit,” he told Sport24. He urged the authorities to provide proper financial support and sponsorship for athletes, saying that they had proven to be good value.
The result sets up a fascinating clash with Bruintjies at the North Gauteng Provincial Championship. Simon Magakwe, who is currently serving a two-year ban for missing a doping test, is the only other South African sprinter to dip under the 10-second mark. Simbine’s effort equalled Namibian legend Frankie Fredericks’ 9,96 second mark, which he set in Joburg in 1998, as the fastest time recorded on South African soil.