CAPE TOWN - Akani Simbine notched up his fourth 100-metre victory in the Diamond League by running 10.08s in Florence, Italy, on Thursday night.
The Tuks based sprinter did not have the best of starts, but once he got into his rhythm and reach his top-end speed, there was no stopping him. He outsprinted England's Ujah Chijindu Ujah by 0.02s. Emmanuel Matadi (Liberia) was third in 10.16s.
"The plan for today was nothing but the win. This was my first competition since our National Championships six weeks ago. It meant I was eager to race. I have taken a lot of confidence from the race, especially since the body feels healthy. There is a good race in the legs waiting to happen," explained the Tuks based athlete.
On asked how it felt to be the prerace favourite, Simbine said his answer would have been entirely different if asked the same question a few years back.
"I would have been super stressed from putting so much pressure on myself. Now, I take it as motivation - people believe in me, believe in my talent, and do what I can do, so I use it to push myself and become even better. I will be in Europe until we go to Tokyo, so I will be here and go to my other races as planned."
HE'S BACK TO DEFEND HIS 👑@AkaniSimbine returns to @goldengala_roma to retain his 2020 100m victory.— Wanda Diamond League (@Diamond_League) June 5, 2021
Though the fastest on paper (9.89"), he'll face stiff competition from @ArthurGueCISSE @Chijindu_Ujah and Lamont Marcell Jacobs, who have all run below 10". #FlorenceDL 🇮![CDATA]>🇹
The South African 400m-hurdles champion, Wenda Nel (Tuks), finished fourth running 55.20s. It is only 0.04s slower than her season's best.