Akani Simbine gears up for domestic track and field season

Akani Simbine gears up for domestic track and field season

South African 100m record holder Akani Simbine has confirmed to SABC Sport that he will kick off his season at the Athletics South Africa Grand Prix meeting at Pilditch Stadium on 18 March.

Although he won’t be participating in the first meeting in Potchefstroom on 14 March, Simbine, who holds the national record of 9.84 seconds, is gearing up for the ASA Senior National Championships, set for 18-21 April in Pietermaritzburg.

There he will strive to defend his national championship title.  

"I'm just trusting Coach [Werner Prinsloo] with my programme, I always trust the coach with my programme, and just also putting myself in a position where I don't over-race, but I'm also racing competitive races where it means something for the rankings," said Simbine.

"I'm not going to put myself in a race where I don't get ranking points because that's an important thing now with World Athletics – for me to get in and stay in that top 5 or top 10, I have to get the points.

"So, yeah, we're going to be racing SA [championships], definitely; Diamond League circuit, definitely; World Relay [championships], definitely; and then going to Olympics.

"So we'll see. In South Africa, I will be racing, but it's just depending on what the province [Central Gauteng Athletics] wants from me."

With Banyana Banyana crowned the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations champions in 2022, the Proteas Women having reached a first-ever cricket World Cup final in 2023, followed by the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup triumph, and most recently Bafana Bafana securing bronze in the Africa Cup of Nations, there is a lot going for South African sports at present.

These achievements have inspired Simbine as he aims to emulate their success at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris later this year.

"You build on your country's wins – like, for me, I watch South African sports. Everything that is South Africa, where people are competing for South Africa, I watch and I support," he added.

"When they win, it's like we're building up this momentum of wins and maybe it's our turn [as Team SA] to win, and you also do take that hope that if they can win, hey man, I can also win; I can also take a shot at it.

"It gives belief to us, it gives us that extra push to say, okay, maybe the gods are with us, so let's go and do it, and show up on the track to start with the race."

READ: Werner Prinsloo continues to harbour aspiration for Olympic medal