Akani Simbine keeps his eye on the prize
The fact the South African 4 x 100m record did not fall in the fourth leg of the Athletics South Africa Speed Series in Germiston did not register in Akani Simbine's worry tank.
Simbine led a quartet that included Gift Leotlela‚ Henricho Bruintjies and Clarence Munyai.
They ran an excellent 38.47‚ displaying their improving form and class.
However‚ it wasn't enough to eclipse the 38.35 but the synergy and the pace they showed on Wednesday evening meant the record will fall sooner rather than later.
With the ASA National Athletics Championships taking place at the Kenneth McArthur Stadium in Potchefstroom next month‚ they will have heat and altitude to make an assault on the record.
Certainly‚ that's what Simbine is thinking.
“We were happy with the outcome of the race and all we wanted to do was to make sure we got the baton going around‚" he said.
"We also needed to make sure we run our marks and make sure we do that to the best of our abilities.
"We all executed well and we could see what the times are.
"With the little training we've had so far‚ we've done quite a good job.
"If we get more training‚ we can get sharper and the time will be lower.
“We can do better and we know it's going to be warmer in Potchefstroom and for us as sprinters‚ we love heat.
"By the time Potch comes round‚ we will be faster and sharper.
"It's going to be better and it's going to be nice with the fact that we'll be running together at the national championships.”
While there is the big carrot of the World Relay Championships that take place on April 22-23 in the Bahamas‚ they also happen to clash with the National Championships‚ which take place at the same time.
Simbine is aware of the importance of the IAAF event which also serves as a qualifier for the World Championships relay races but he wants to be charitable at home first.
“I think I've told people what I want to do for nationals and I've decided on staying in South Africa and competing in the national championships.
"I feel like I owe it to the locals to watch us race and we give them a good time.
"We have a number of athletes who are running really good times.
"I feel that we need to be here and give them the show they deserve‚” Simbine said.
“We're always watching the United States of America trials or the United Kingdom trials and we know those guys are running fast.
"We've also got athletes who are running fast and they can bring that excitement to the track.
"We need to give South African's a good show to watch at the Championships.” - TMG Digital
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