MENU
21 Apr, 2017

Epic 100m Showdown in Potch

514

The men’s 100 metres final later today at the South African Track and Field Championships in Potchefstroom could just be the dream race everybody has been speculating about, with potentially all of SA’s sub-10-second 100-metre athletes set to do battle in an epic final, which means we could see three or more athletes dipping under 10 seconds for the first time in the same local race.

 

If nothing unforeseen happens, it will be the first time this season that all four of SA’s current sub-10 athletes – Akani Simbine (9.89), Thando Roto (9.95), Henricho Bruintjies (9.97) and Wayde van Niekerk (9.98) – will compete at the same meet in the 100 metres. There are also rumours that Simon Magakwe (9.98), the first South African to dip under 10 seconds, may be racing. He was banned for two years after he allegedly refused a dope test and only started racing again recently. The athletes will contents qualifying heats to make it to the final at 6:40pm this evening.

 

Simbine, who recently clocked his 10th sub-10 race at the Gauteng North Champs in Pretoria, is seen as the favourite. He has said he is now confident of dipping under 10 seconds every time he races, and has been true to his word so far this season. At the provincial championships he clocked two sub-10 times on the same day, running 9.98 and 9.92.

 

Although a man of few words, Simbine says he is feeling good and expects to run a fast time in Potch. Asked how he felt about racing all of South Africa’s top sprinters, he said: “My training has gone really well, so I am looking forward to race. I cannot speak for the other athletes, I can only speak for myself, but when I say I am ready to run a fast time, I mean it. Hopefully the weather will play along, it won’t be too cold and there will be a slight wind from behind when we race.”

 

Meanwhile, Tuks/HPC head coach Hennie Kriel predicts that Roto has the ability to cause a surprise. In the 100m final at the provincial championships in Pretoria, he led for the first 70 metres before Simbine passed him. “Fast a very fast time,” was Kriel’s answer when asked what can be expected from Roto in tomorrow’s final.

 

Roto himself says he is up for the SA Champs shpwdown. “In Pretoria, at first I was zoned out and just racing. Then suddenly I realised that I was in the lead. It was like it cannot be that I am leading Akani. The mistake I made was to start to doubt in my own abilities,” he says.

 

A third contender, Henricho Bruintjies, is the defending South African 100m champion. However, up to now he has not come close to the form that saw him running 9.97 in 2015 in Switzerland, but his coach, Werner Prinsloo, is not worried. “Henricho is definitely going to run a sub-10 race. I just don’t know when it is going to be. If he comes close to running 10 seconds tomorrow I will be happy. Running his second sub-10 is a psychological barrier Henricho has to overcome – once he has done so, I am confident it will become a regular occurrence.”

 

The 100 metres is not really Olympic 400m Champ Van Niekerk’s speciality, so it will be interesting to see what he does in Potch, but given his 9.98 of last year, it will be wrong to discount him in the final.

 

Unfortunately Gift Leotlela, who set a new South African junior record by running 10.12 earlier this season, won’t compete in the 100m at the national championships, as he has slight back injury and has decided just race the 200m event.

Sean Falconer

Sean Falconer

Editor |

Sean is Editor of Modern Athlete Magazine and is based in Stellenbosch. He manages the Maties Women's Soccer Team, runs himself and does regular race commentary on weekends. The Busy Body.

LATEST NEWS

Motivation Overload

28 April 2017 - As a project manager for Old Mutual, Amanda Makwakwa has worked on many of the biggest running events in South Africa, and that not only got her into long distance running, but motivated her to tac...

Pulling a Stunt

28 April 2017 - Jumping off buildings, doing fight scenes and being set on fire are all in a day’s work for film industry stuntwoman Lana Katz, and she uses a daily run to make sure she is fit enough to hand...

The Patience to Keep Trying

28 April 2017 - When 47-year-old Esther Patience crossed the finish line of the Standard Bank Ironman 70.3 in East London earlier this year, she finally completed an epic five-year quest to earn that finisher&rsqu...

Comrades Marathon Association Mourns Loss of Dudley St John-Ward

24 April 2017 - The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) is saddened by the loss of its Finish Procedure Convenor, Dudley St John-Ward. He passed away last Friday at the age of 70. Dudley was funny, friendly and al...

Going for a Walk

19 April 2017 - With nearly 50 years of race walking experience behind him, both as a record-breaking athlete and as a highly successful coach of multiple Olympians, SA Champs and SA Record-holders, Carl Meyer is ...

Stardom Beckons

19 April 2017 - Young KPMG athlete Nicole van der Merwe was destined for running stardom as soon as she ran her first race in primary school. Now 18 and with numerous SA title and honours already to her name, she ...

World at Wayde’s Feet

19 April 2017 - After an incredible 2016 that saw 400m superstar Wayde van Niekerk add the Olympic title and the World Record to his 2015 World Champs title, he is now looking forward to chasing more titles in 201...

Wöstmann Retains Om Die Dam Title

20 March 2017 - Defending Old Mutual Om Die Dam Ultra women’s champion Caroline Wöstmann clinched her second consecutive win in the country’s largest inland ultra-marathon in Hartbeespoort on Satu...

Bonitas Comrades Novice Seminars Start 22 March

16 March 2017 - With 80 days to go to the 92nd Comrades Marathon on Sunday 4 June, the big day of anticipation for nearly 6000 novice Comrades runners is fast approaching. In putting Runners First, the Comrades Ma...

Are You Tough Enough to Tackle Gaborone?

15 March 2017 - The Diacore Gaborone Marathon is Botswana’s largest running event! The inaugural event was held in 2010 and now seven years down the line, the Diacore Gaborone Marathon is an IAAF certified q...

Comrades Substitutions Open Tuesday

13 March 2017 - The official 2017 Comrades Marathon Substitution Process opens tomorrow, 14 March. This means that runners who were unable to enter the 2017 Comrades Marathon during the official entry period (1 Se...

Joburg to Host Second Comrades Marathon Women's Seminar

09 March 2017 - In line with International Women’s Month and with a view to empowering female Comrades runners to achieve more, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has teamed up with major sponsor, Bonit...