Akani Simbine still hungry for gold after Commonwealth Games silver

While he admitted he lost the race at the start, sprinter Akani Simbine said he was pleased to be able to recover sufficiently to grab a medal in the men’s 100m final at the Commonwealth Games.

Competing in the short dash in Birmingham on Wednesday night, Simbine had hoped to get the better of Kenyan rocket Ferdinand Omanyala as the rivalry continued between the two fastest men in Africa.

He was sluggish out the blocks, however, and while he was able to claw his way back into the race, Simbine settled for the silver medal in 10.13 seconds, with Omanyala winning gold in 10.02.

“I’m struggling with my start at the moment, and I didn’t have a clean race, but I’m happy I was able to get up and fight my way back onto the podium,” said Simbine, who won 100m gold at the last edition of the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

“I’m glad to be on the podium again and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

While 28-year-old Simbine won Commonwealth and African titles in 2018, he lost both crowns this year to Omanyala.

And though he finished fifth in the 100m final at the recent World Championships, further cementing his status as one of the quickest men on the planet, it was the fifth successive major global championship in which he made the top five but missed out on a medal.

Despite not being able to hit his straps this season, falling just short of hitting top gear, Simbine insisted he was not a spent force and was still hungry to shine for South Africa on the international stage.

“I’ve been in this game for a while now, but I’m still young,” he said.

“I’ve made my name in the sprinting world and I just hope I can keep in the game, keep pushing, and one day get that World Championships or Olympic medal and do our nation proud.”