Akani Simbine calls for ASA to instil the relay culture in the sport

Akani Simbine calls for ASA to instil the relay culture in the sport

South Africa’s acclaimed sprinter Akani Simbine is urging Athletics South Africa (ASA) to cultivate a relay-centric ethos within the sport.

With the 4x100m relay event representing South Africa’s prime opportunity for Olympic medal contention at the forthcoming Games in Paris, Simbine emphasizes the necessity for a concerted effort.

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Past competitions have revealed shortcomings within the national team, marked by critical errors such as botched baton exchanges and preventable disqualifications.

Reflecting on these setbacks, Simbine advocates for increased training camps, leveraging the success of previous gatherings like the one held in Potchefstroom last year, to bolster the team’s cohesion and proficiency in relay events.

''We have spoken a lot about putting ourselves in a better position, it's important to create a culture of training camps,'' said Simbine. 

Simbine emphasized the significance of preparations, underscoring the value of athletes’ familiarizing themselves with one another and practicing baton exchanges to mitigate previous errors.

''The fact that we are preparing and we have something in place, it's a step forward. We can just prepare and make things right, I don't have any stress - I'm looking forward to it, added Simbine. 

Last year, Simbine withdrew from the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary during the semi-finals due to a disqualification for a false start.

Speaking to SABC Sport, he expressed acceptance of the outcome and resolved to rectify the heart-wrenching incident.

''The fact that you can come back. If you start a new season the old season is left behind. I've got to pick myself up, the fact that I got back to training and got back to a new season - it's a win for me, he concluded.