Akani Simbine Story
12th April 2018: In the BOLT era, none of the sprinters could match his stupendous pace in the 100m sprint event. Success eluded many world-class sprinters from various countries under the shadow of the ‘Greatest Sprinter of all time in the World’.
Usain Bolt’s talent, dedication towards athletics, hard work, skills and electrifying magic was witnessed all over the world. However, like everything else in the universe, BOLT’s era came to an end at the IAAF World Athletics Championships 2017. Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman finished 1st and 2nd respectively, pushing the GREAT Bolt into 3rd place in his last race.
The world of athletics saw the emergence of Christian Coleman, who broke successfully the 60m dash indoor record. With Bolt retired and Gatlin in the last leg of his career, every eye was on Jamaican Yohan Blake at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
South Africa’s Akani Simbine surprised the hot favorite with a stunning performance to become the ‘Fastest Man of 2018 Commonwealth Games’, beating compatriot Henrico Bruintjies and Jamaican’s Yohan Blake, clocking 10.03s in the 100m final. Simbine is on cloud nine with his Gold medal and major international title in the world arena.
2018: The Rise of Simbine:
Akani Simbine was born on the 21st September 1993 in Pretoria, South Africa. He was an Information Science student at University of Pretoria.
Akani Simbine has remained behind the shadows of great sprinters since 2013. He has been progressing steadily in the international stage. On the 18th of July 2016, Simbine broke the 100m South African record, clocking 9.89s at the Gyulai István Memorial in Székesfehérvár. He trained harder towards his goal to conquer the bests in his respective sprint events.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics 100m final, Simbine finished in fifth place behind Yohan Blake. In 2017, Simbine clocked 9.99s to win the 100m final at the IAAF Diamond League in Doha. He became the first South African to win the 100m at a Diamond League meeting in Doha.
Akani Simbine conquered over Jamaican Asafa Powell and Qatar’s Femi Ogunode with a blistering sub-10second. Powell picked up the Silver clocking 10.08s, while Ogunode finished third in 10.13.
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, beating Blake to win the Gold medal is a sweet triumph for the South African sprinter. Jamaican Yohan Blake is the No. 2 ‘Fastest Man’ in the world after Numero Uno Bolt.
Simbine stated after his win, “I was not focused on him. I, literally, just focused on myself and making sure I get out fast, and get to the 50m as quick as I can. I knew that it was something I could do, it was just a matter of me coming here and making sure I put the perfect race together.”
An elated Akani Simbine added, “It is my first international title and for me, it is a milestone, a stepping stone towards the World Championships, and the Olympics and more international competitions.” After his triumph, the mama’s boy called his mother, who was watching back home in South Africa.
Running on lane 7, Simbine stormed ahead of fellow countryman Henricho Bruintjies ahead of stumbling Jamaican. Simbine’s 10.03s and Henricho’s 10.17s made it one and two for the South African team. Blake picked up the Silver, clocking a disappointing 10.19s.
The win is special to the South African sprinter in many ways. Simbine becomes the ‘First’ sprinter in the world to win the ‘First Major Championship Title’ in the Post-Bolt Era.