LONDON, August 10 – There was both relief and grief for South Africa’s top sprinters on Wednesday night, with Wayde van Niekerk reaching the 200m men’s final and Akani Simbine being eliminated in the penultimate round at the IAAF World Championships in London, England.
Van Niekerk, who had already wrapped up the 400m title the previous evening, finished third in his half-lap semifinal in 20.28 in cold and wet conditions, making it through to the last round after a long week of racing.
Simbine, however, ended seventh in his race in 20.62 and the 100m finalist was unable to progress.
“Today’s race was a bit tough, being my fifth race in five days,” Van Niekerk said. “I never expected it to be easy but I’m glad and blessed to make it through. I hope for a good rest and will see when I wake how well my body recovers to race another day, but I have to run.”
After a quiet sixth day of competition for the national team, South Africa has four medals (two gold and two bronze) in the bag.
“It’s been a difficult week for Wayde in his quest for a double and we wish him a speedy body recovery to be able to have a fair challenge of the 200m crown,” said Aleck Skhosana, President of ASA.
“We wish all athletes remaining good luck and thank all whose competition has ended for giving their best.” – African News Agency (ANA)