Tokyo Games

Akani Simbine suffers SA's Olympic curse as he ends fourth

David Isaacson Sports reporter
Akani Simbine in the 100m semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics.
Akani Simbine in the 100m semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics.
Image: Roger Sedres/Gallo Images

Akani Simbine had to settle for fourth in the men’s 100m at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday night, missing out on the medals by four-hundredths of a second.

Italian Lamont Jacobs won in a 9.80sec European record, ahead of American Fred Kerley (9.84) and Canadian Andre De Grasse (9.89).

Simbine crossed the line in 9.83 to ensure SA’s Olympic curse would continue for yet another Games — at every showpiece featuring an official SA team from 1908 until Tokyo, the country has landed at least one fourth place.

Simbine’s fourth spot was SA’s first of Tokyo.

It’ll be a massive disappointment for Simbine who was fifth at Rio 2016, fifth at the 2017 world championships and fourth at the 2019 world championships.

Earlier in the men’s 400m hurdles semifinals, Soks Zazini ran a 48.99sec season’s best, but that was only good enough for sixth spot in a heat won by world record-holder Karsten Warholm in 47.30, ahead of American Rai Benjamin (47.37).

This was an event where SA men used to be prominent, but this year Zazini was the country’s sole entrant.

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