Sim­bine dis­ap­pointed with fifth place fin­ish in 100m

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - OCKERT DE VIL­LIERS

A GUT­TED Akani Sim­bine tried to hide his dis­ap­point­ment after fin­ish­ing fifth in a drama-filled 100m fi­nal which in­cluded Ja­maican le­gend Usain Bolt’s first de­feat at the World Cham­pi­onships.

For a mo­ment the world for­got about the im­pend­ing doom over the re­tire­ment of athletics’ great­est hero but in­stead of com­fort it ended in agony as for­mer dop­ing of­fender Justin Gatlin spoiled the party.

In a re­peat re­sult of his Rio Olympic Games fi­nal, Sim­bine had to be con­tent with the fifth place as he crossed the line in a time of 10.01 sec­onds.

Slow out of the blocks, Bolt had to work hard to make his way up the field dip­ping at the line in a time of 9.95 with Gatlin and his Amer­i­can com­pa­triot Chris­tian Coleman cross­ing ahead of him in 9.92 and 9.94 re­spec­tively.

Sim­bine took heaps of con­fi­dence from his semi-fi­nal where he burst out of the blocks leav­ing for­mer world cham­pion Gatlin and the rest of the field in his wake to book his place in one of the most an­tic­i­pated 100m fi­nals of all time.

The day be­fore Sim­bine had a dis­as­trous heat where scraped through to the semi-fi­nal as a fastest loser.

Sim­bine re­vealed he had bat­tled with a hip im­pinge­ment ahead of his first race of the cham­pi­onships.

“It was a good race, I am happy with it, I am happy that I ac­tu­ally made the fi­nal, yes­ter­day wasn’t such as good day for me,” Sim­bine, said.

“I had a lit­tle bit of mus­cle is­sues that I had to deal with but I am happy that I made it to the fi­nal and I ac­tu­ally ran in the fi­nal and placed well.” The South African could have an­other bite at the cherry in the 200m but Sim­bine did not look con­fi­dent about lin­ing up in the half-lap sprint. “We’ll see (if the in­jury would im­pact on the 200m) be­cause I have to go and deal with it,” Sim­bine said. Mean­while, Olympic women’s 800m cham­pion Caster Semenya kept her hopes of claim­ing the 800-1 500m dou­ble alive qual­i­fy­ing into today’s 1 500m fi­nal. Semenya fin­ished her semi­fi­nal in third place in a time of 4:03.08 with Olympic 1 500m cham­pion Faith Kipyegon and Bri­tish run­ner Laura Muir fin­ish­ing ahead of her.

Semenya be­lieved she could break Zola Budd’s 31-year-old record of 4:01.81 she set in Port El­iz­a­beth in 1986 if it was a fast race.

“That (the record) will come in the fi­nal, I can see what they are try­ing to do, they are try­ing to stretch it out with two laps to go and all I need to do is to play around with it,” Semenya said.

“The race was great, it is all about get­ting into the fi­nal and just be­ing safe.

“We are happy with the out­come, now it is just about just go­ing to get rest for the fi­nal.”

In yes­ter­day’s marathon, Des­mond Mok­gobu was the only fin­isher among the South African men fin­ish­ing 21st in a time of 2:16.14.

Ma­paseka Makhanya was the top fe­male fin­isher clock­ing 2:40.15 with Jenna Chal­lenor crossed in 59th place in 2:47.22 in the women’s event.

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