- Sprinting bigshot Akani Simbine has guided South Africa as they emerged as victors in the 4x100 metre relay in an event held in Poland on Sunday
- Led by Akani Simbine, the Mzasi team did well after defeating their Brazilian counterparts, who were disqualified
South African athletes, led by Akani Simbine, have bagged a gold medal in the 4x100m quartet to a dramatic victory at the World Athletics Relays in Poland on Sunday.
Simbine is one of Mzansi’s finest athletes and took over the baton three metres down on Brazil's Paulo Andre Camilo de Oliveira but managed to snatch victory on the line by a hundredth of a second in a time of 38.71sec.
Staged in Silesia in Poland, the race was so tight that the Brazilians were celebrating before the South Africans were announced as winners.
However, the heartbreak for the South Americans was compounded when they were then disqualified for running out of their lane.
In a drama-filled contest, fellow Africans Ghana were also disqualified while Italy was promoted to second place in a time of 39.21, with Japan third in 39.42.
Looking at the women’s race, a storming run on the back straight by two-time world 200m champion Dafne Schippers gave the Netherlands a huge lead coming into the final changeover but a disastrous exchange left lead-in runner Naomi Sydney trailing in behind Italy who won in 43.79.
Meanwhile, junior prodigy Lythe Pillay, Zakithi Nene, Oscar Mavundla, and Ranti Dikgale, did well to ensure South Africa took the fifth spot in the men's 4x400m final.
Having progressed as the third quickest team in the heats the day before, they completed the four-lap race in 3:05.76 and have automatically qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.
It is reported that the South African national mixed 4x400m team - Ranti Dikgale, Simon Khuzwayo, Deline Mpiti (woman), and Taylon Bieldt (woman) – finished sixth in their heat in 3:19.18 on Saturday's opening day of competition and therefore did not qualify for a place in the final.
According to SuperSport, the first eight finishers in the 4x100m, 4x400m, and mixed 4x400m events automatically qualify for the Tokyo Olympics to be held this year, and the first ten finishers in the 4x100m and 4x400m, and the first 12 in the mixed 4x400m relay will automatically qualify for the 2022 World Championships in Oregon.
Briefly News recently reported that Simbine flew the SA flag proudly and loudly after he won the 100m race at 9.96 seconds.
The race took place during the Diamond League event in Rome recently. Akani was swiftly followed by Arthur Cisse of Ivory Coast who came in at 10.04 seconds.
Italy's Filippo Tortu came in at number three in the 100m race, reaching the finish line at a close 10.09 seconds.
Akani, who previously won the 2018 Commonwealth Games 100m sprint, achieved his brilliant Rome victory shortly after Wade van Niekerk's Switzerland win.
The 26-year-old also broke the South African record in 100 m with a time of 9.89 seconds at the Gyulai István Memorial in Székesfehérvár on 18 July 2016.
Briefly News also reported how it was a proud moment for South Africa as our very own Wade van Niekerk took first place in the international race event that took place in Switzerland.
Wade, who was running in lane four, made it to first place at 45.58s in the 400m race. The South African runner and previous world record breaker got in swiftly ahead of Netherland's Joachem Dobberlands, who came in at 45.78s in second place. Karel Zwelskski from Poland came in at the third spot at 46.03s on the clock.
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