Sun Sep 24 07:12:55 SAST 2017

Simbine sets new SA 100m record (VIDEO)

By Daniel Mothowagae | 2016-07-19 06:57:40.0

South African sprinter Akani Simbine. Picture credits: Getty Images

South African sprinter Akani Simbine underlined his readiness for the Rio Olympics when he smashed his own national 100m record in Budapest, Hungary last night.

The 22-year-old powered to a 9.89 seconds victory as he beat his one-time idol, Asafa Powell of Jamaica, by three-hundredths of a second at the Istvan Gyulai Memorial meeting.

With this performance, Simbine eclipsed the 9.96sec he set at the inagural Athletics SA Nite Series in Pretoria in March.

As if beating former world record holder Powell was not enough for a highlight, the Tuks Athletics runner capped his night at the Hungarian capital with another victory in the 200m final. He also clocked a personal best time of 20.16sec - 0.07sec off his previous best.

Simbine's win over Powell took the South African star to fifth place in the world's leading 100m times so far this year.

Interstingly, the new SA mark is 0.01sec outside Usain Bolt's season best, which the multiple-world and Olympic champion recorded when he beat Powell and Simbine at the inaugural Racers Grand Prix in Jamaica in June.

Simbine's exploits last night was the second time in three days that a SA record was bettered.

Caster Semenya improved her 800m record by 0.12 seconds at a Diamond League meeting in Monaco, France with a 1:55.33 win on Friday.

The two athlete's improving performances bode well for SA's aspirations at the Olympic Games next month.