Seen here: Akani Simbine in action at the IAAF World Champs London in 2017.
Photo Credit: Roger Sedres
South Africa’s number one sprinter, Akani Simbine will be targeting the 200m at the 2019 Sizwe Medical Fund & 3SixtyLife ASA Senior Track & Field and Combined Events Championships that will take place at Germiston Athletics Stadium from Thursday 25 to Saturday 27 April 2019.
After opening his season in the first leg of the Athletics Grand Prix Series on Saturday, 13 April in Mangaung by running the anchor leg of the 4x100m, Simbine’s coach, Werner Prinsloo confirmed that he is satisfied.
“He looked good in the top bend and ran hard. I am happy with where we are in our training right now and the relay was a good leg loosener for him,” said Prinsloo.
Simbine will focus on the 200m at the National Championships due to the long season and will only shift his attention to the shorter sprint, the 100m, closer to the IAAF World Championships in Doha in September.
“Akani has a wild card entry into the World Championships 100m courtesy of his Africa title which he won last year. That means we are able to put more emphasis on the endurance element of his sprinting at this time, which is why we are looking at the 200m.”
Simbine anchored the RSA A-team to victory in Mangaung, crossing the line in 38.88sec.
The men’s 200m heats will start on Friday, 26 April at 10:15, with the semi-finals on the same day at 16:00 and the finals on Saturday, 27 April at 18:15 according to the provisional time table.
SA record holder, Clarence Munyai who scorched a 19.69sec in the semi-finals of the 2018 National Championships, will be opening his season at the National Championships. A slight niggle prevented the 21-year-old from competing at the Athletics Grand Prix on Saturday and the decision was taken to make sure he would be 100% in shape for the Nationals come 25 April. Munyai ran a 32.75sec 300m on 15 February, giving a good indication that he is coming into form well.
“He is looking good at training,” said his coach, Hennie Kriel. “We all know he is a fast athlete, so if he stays healthy, then his 200m will be pretty good come the Championships.”
Luxolo Adams will not relinquish his title without a challenge though. The African 200m bronze medallist has already run a 20.3sec 200m in March this year, albeit a hand time. He won the title in 2018 with a 20.01sec, edging Anaso Jobodwana into second (20.07sec). With US-based former World Championship bronze medallist, Jobodwana on his way back to South Africa for the Championships, the 200m will be a hard race to win.
Should we see the likes of currently injured Henricho Bruintjies and Emile Erasmus also in the mix for the 200m, then this could be one of the fiercest contested events of the Championships.
|Date:||Thursday, 25 April 2019 – Saturday, 27 April 2019|
|Venue:||Germiston Athletics Stadium, Johannesburg|
|Time:||· Morning sessions will start at 07:00 on all three days.
· Afternoon sessions will begin at 14:00 on the opening day and at 15:00 on days two and three.
The full programme of events will be available on the ASA website.
|Entry Fee:||Free for competing athletes
Spectators: R50 per day (including scholars and school children)
|Tickets||Available at the gate on the day.
|Events:||Hurdles, Shot Put, Pole Vault, Javelin Throw, High Jump, Long Jump, Hammer Throw, Triple Jump, Decathlon, 1500m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 5000m, 10000m, 800m, 3000m Steeple Chase, 20km Walk, 4x 100m Relay and 4x 400m Relay.|
About Sizwe Medical Fund & 3Sixty Life:
Sizwe Medical Fund:
Sizwe Medical Fund is one of the oldest medical funds in South Africa. Founded over 40 years ago, Sizwe Medical Fund is in the Top 10 Open Medical Schemes in the country. Sizwe is committed to delivering affordable health care for all South Africans
3Sixty Life is a fully black owned insurance company that was established in 1993 and at that time was named Union Life. 3Sixty Life is a provider of affordable funeral and life insurance products.
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, is a member of the IAAF and the Confederation of African Athletics. The association is based in Johannesburg.