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Thu Apr 17 02:48:40 SAST 2014

SA set to have a male 100m sprinter at the Olympics

Sapa | 09 May, 2012 11:140 Comments
Simon Magakwe upset that he didn't break the record during the SA Open Championships from Pilditch Stadium on May 04, 2012 in Pretoria
Image by: Lee Warren / Gallo Images

South African sprinting ace Simon Magakwe says nothing will stand in his way in his pursuit to reach the men’s 100 metres final at the London Olympic Games.

Magakwe has been sensational on the domestic circuit this season, running six times under the qualifying mark in the 100m and equalling Johan Rossouw’s national record of 10.06 seconds in the process.

While he has showed that he can consistently clock fast times, however, he has yet to qualify for the Games.

Magakwe, who must dip under 10.18 in an international competition to book his place in the team for London, will target the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on May 25 to seal his position in the squad.

“So far everything is going well for me because I am in good shape,” Magakwe said.

“I’m doing well for myself and for South Africans.”  The Rustenburg-based athlete, who turns 26 next week, said he was confident that he would reach the final at the Games.

“I just want to keep this fitness until the Olympics where I want to see myself in the final,” he said.

“I just missed [breaking] the SA record by a split second, which I want to do in Europe, and I hope South Africans will be proud of me getting good times because I want to repeat good times all over again.”  Magakwe will line-up against a world-class field in Ostrava, which includes Jamaican world record holder Usain Bolt.

Bolt blitzed to a global season’s best of 9.82 in his first meeting of the year in Kingston at the weekend.

Racing against Bolt, Magakwe said, was a challenge the four-time national champion relished ahead of the Games.

“The guy [Bolt] is fast and I think this year he is in good shape because he says he wants to run 9.4 seconds, so you know he is aiming high,” Magakwe said.

While Bolt had an impressive sprinting pedigree, however, Magakwe said the Jamaican was not infallible.

“We have to aim high because you don’t know what might happen in the end,” he said.

“He might get something and you just go past him, and maybe it is not his day that day, and it is yours.” 

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