The 100m Men’s race at the 2nd Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Series Meeting in Tshwane on Thursday, 08 March, is a much anticipated race as it heralds the first race of 2018 for South Africa’s 100m record holder, Akani Simbine.
The 100m once again has an explosive line up including SA Junior 200m record holder, Clarence Munyai, World Youth 200m champion, Retshiditswe Mlenga and former SA 100m record holder, Henricho Bruintjies amongst others.
Akani Simbine has gripped the imagination of South African athletics fans after consistently racing under 10sec since he first broke the barrier in 2015. He has already gone under 10sec on fifteen occasions, with a best of 9.89sec run on 18 July 2016 in Székesfehérvár, Hungary. He also made history to become the first South African to reach an Olympic 100m final since readmission when he finished 5th in Rio in 2016. A year later, Simbine was 5th again, this time at the World Championships in London. With an average time of 9.946sec for the 100m, Simbine lines up as favourite on race day.
Henricho Bruintjies became only the second South African athlete to dip 10sec in the 100m behind Simon Magakwe, clocking 9.97sec in France at the Stade de la Charriere La Chaux De Fonds Meeting on 5 July 2015. Bruintjies prevented Simbine from defending his national 100m title in 2016 when he edged the SA record holder’s, 10.17sec to 10.21sec. Bruintjies recently moved to former SA 200m record holder, Morne Nagel, as coach and has had a much improved start since then.
Clarence Munyai is one of an exciting new crop of sprinters to have emerged from South Africa. He recently improved his 100m time from 10.20sec to 10.10sec. Better known as a 200m runner, Munyai is the 2017 Africa 200m champion and holds the SA Junior record (20.10sec). He is also the World Junior record holder in the 300m (31.61sec). While his preferred race is the 200m, Munyai is a dangerous protagonist in the 100m.
On 23 February he raced 10.13sec to lower his former PB – albeit wind assisted – before clocking his 10.10sec later in the day. He also held the edge over 200m specialist and 2015 200m World Championship bronze medalist, Anaso Jobodwana in the first 170m of the 200m at Roodepoort last Thursday. While Jobodwana won in the end, Munyai showed he has real speed over the first 100m and had an incredible start. He cannot be ruled out as a top three position challenger on Thursday, 08 March.
Retshiditswe Mlenga won the 200m World Youth title in Nairobi in 2017 and finished second behind his compatriot, Tshenolo Lemao in the 100m at the same championships. With a best of 10.37sec (run in Nairobi) in the 100m, Mlenga is part of the next generation of sprinters emerging from South Africa. Only 18 years of age, Mlenga has shown respect to the “elder statesmen” of South African sprinting, but is by no means intimidated and is using the Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Series as a means to improve.
Tshenolo Lemao won the World 100m Youth title in Nairobi in 2017 ahead of Mlenga and has a best of 10.42sec run in Potchefstroom on 21 April 2017. In a reversal of roles, Lemoa finished second behind Mlenga in the 200m at the World Youth Championships in Nairobi. Lemao has run once in 2018, clocking 10.67sec in Tshwane on 03 February.
Justin Walker struggled in the 200m at the first Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Series Meeting, finishing 8th in 21.02sec, however the American flew in to South Africa only two days prior to the Meeting and would have suffered from jet lag. With a best of 10.05sec run in 2016, Walker is not to be ignored, especially if he has been able to shake the jet lag.
EVENT INFORMATION: Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Series
Dates and Venues:
|Thursday, 08 March 2018||Tuks Stadium, Tshwane|
|Thursday, 22 March 2018||Dal Josaphat Stadium, Paarl|
Main Pavilion Tickets
|Standard Ticket:||R 100 each|
|Children under 16 years of age:||R 50 each|
Open Stand/Grass Banks
|Standard Ticket:||R 50 each|
|Children under 16 years of age:||R 50 each|
ONLINE TICKET SALES are open and can be purchased via www.webtickets.co.za
Tickets can also be purchased at the gate of each event.
Visit the event’s Facebook page for daily announcements!
ABOUT LIQUID TELECOM
Liquid Telecom is a leading communications services and solutions provider across 13 countries in Eastern, central and Southern Africa that serves carrier, enterprise and retail customers with high-speed, reliable connectivity and digital services.
It has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, spanning over 50,000km, and operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi, with a combined 6,800 square meters of rack space.
This is in addition to leading cloud-based services, such as Microsoft Office365 and Microsoft Azure, and innovative digital content provision, including Netflix, NBA, TED and Kwese Play.
Through this combined offering, Liquid Telecom is enhancing customers’ experience on their digital journey.
About Athletics South Africa:
Athletics South Africa (ASA) is the national governing body for the sport of athletics (including Track and Field, Cross Country, Road Running and Race Walking) in South Africa, which is a member of the IAAF, and the Confederation of African Athletics. The association is based in Johannesburg.