Akani Simbine missed out on defending his national 100m title at the SA Senior Championships in Tshwane on 16 March after withdrawing from the championships citing a tight hamstring. Henricho Bruintjies will be competing in front of his home crowd and newly crowned SA Champion, Simon Magakwe would like nothing more than to defeat the fastest man in Africa, Akani Simbine whom he last faced and beat in 2014.
Akani Simbine is the fastest man in South Africa and Africa at the moment. He will be looking for one last good race before heading off to the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April. Simbine will be out to make a statement in Paarl. Simbine has 15 sub 10second times to his name, with a best of 9.89sec run on 18 July 2016 in Székesfehérvár, Hungary. Simbine 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. The former SA champion will not be happy with his bronze medal at the National Championships and will be looking to rectify that in front of his home crowd in Paarl. Bruintjies recently moved to former SA 200m record holder, Morne Nagel as a coach and has had a much improved start since then.
Simon Magakwe, the first South African to break 10sec when he clocked 9.98sec at Tuks at the SA Championships in 2014, became the South African champion again last week, claiming his seventh national title over the 100m. Magakwe, after being out of the sport for two years, has improved dramatically since moving to the Western Cape and training under the eye of former World Junior 200m champion, Paul Gorries. Magakwe went undefeated at the National Championships running 10.38sec in the heats, 10.09sec in the semi-finals and 10.07sec to win the title and is on a high.
Roscoe Engel just keeps coming back and performing at National Championships. The 29-year-old Western Cape athlete loves a challenge and loves to upset the favourites, a knack he seems to have. Engel was not expected to be in the top three in the 150m at the second Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Series Meeting at Tuks on 08 March, but stunned a field that included world 100m champion, Justin Gatlin (who finished 4th). That performance seemed to have inspired Engel to run the fastest 100m time at the South African National Championships when he clocked 10.06sec in the semi-finals.
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.
EVENT INFORMATION: Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Series
The Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix is more than just a show, it enables athletes the opportunity to compete against South African and global talent; for them to be nurtured and invested in, so that they have the potential of becoming green and gold medalists.
Dates, Venue and Start Times:
|Thursday, 22 March 2018||Dal Josaphat Stadium, Paarl|
|Time:||16:45 – 17:30 / Pre Programme|
|Time:||17:45 – 19:00 / Main Programme|
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 regular 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 customerswith 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.