Ferdinand Omanyala edged Team SA’s Akani Simbine to be crowned king of the men’s 100m at the African Athletics Championships in Mauritius. The 26-year-old Kenyan pipped his South African track rival by three-thousandths of a second crossing the line in 9.92, just ahead of Simbine who clocked in at 9.93.
Henricho Bruintjies, also of Team SA, rounded off the podium in third.
Omanyala’s victory over Simbine marks a second significant step in the Kenyan’s quest for African sprint supremacy. But hopefully Simbine will bounce back for SA!
Last September, Omanyala stripped the continental record from Simbine, when he ran 9.77 smashing the South African’s previous benchmark of 9.84 out of the water.
Simbine finished fourth in the Tokyo 2020 final in 2021, while Omanyala was eliminated at the semi-final stage.
No podium finish for Caster Semenya
There was no podium finish for Caster Semenya at the Cote d’Or National Sports Complex after she finished the women’s 5000m race in sixth place.
The top prize went to Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet who crossed the line in 15:00.82 ahead of Ethiopia’s Belayneh Fentaye Azale (15:01.89) and fellow countrywoman Caroline Nyaga (15:05.34).
Heading into the race, the five-time African champion Semenya had set herself the target of improving on her personal best of 15:31.50 and attaining the qualifying mark for the 2022 World Athletics Championships in the distance.
However, it was not to be for Semenya who finished some way off the pace with a time of 16:03.24.
Elsewhere, Team SA’s Miranda Coetzee won the 400m final. Coetzee who held back over the first 250m, came through strongly in the home straight to take the 400m title in 51.82, followed by Niddy Mingilisui of Zambia in 52.36.
In the women’s 4x100m relay, South Africa’s Banele Shabangu, Charlize Eitlerd, Marizaan Loots and Phindile Kubheka took silver in 44.87 behind Nigeria and Gambia.
Karmen Fouche settled for fourth in the long jump event with 6.10m, with Danielle Nolte in fifth (6.09m) and Eljone Kruger finishing seventh with 5.96m