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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

'Disappointed' Simbine looks to redeem himself in SA's 4X100m relay team

Akani Simbine admitted to being disappointed after finishing just outside the medals in today's Olympic 100m final. In the absence of the mercurial Usain Bolt, The Blue Riband event was looking to crown its first new champion since Beijing 2008 with Simbine in the mix for a podium finish. But after a good start that saw him in contention through 60m, he was pipped to the bronze medal by a fast-finishing Andre de Grasse of Canada, as Italian Marcel Jacobs claimed a surprise gold medal with American Fred Kerley taking the silver medal.

Simbine will take some time to gather his thoughts before the relay event. This after finishing in fourth place in the 100m. Photo Credit: Roger Sedres.

A gutted Simbine couldn't hide his disappointment. "It's just a race. It's a final. The better man won it on the day and I'm really happy for Jacobs," he told SASCOC's media team moments after the race in Tokyo. "I'm disappointed in myself, but I'm happy I could make the final," said the man who's 9.93 is exactly the same time he ran for fourth place at the World Championships in Doha two years ago.

Disappointment aside, the African record holder's performance represents an improvement on his fifth place finish at Rio 2016 and makes him the only South African to reach a 100m Olympic final - let alone two. Although he said he will now have to look ahead to Paris 2024 for his next opportunity to win an individual 100m Olympic medal, he is not done yet at #Tokyo2021.

Simbine has tasted relay success with Team SA before. Here alongside Wayde van Niekerk they won the 4 X 100m at the 2016 African Championships. Photo Credit: Roger Sedres.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah...we still have the four by one coming up. I'm looking forward to it. I just need some time to gather myself before I get back into it," he said. After leading Team SA to gold in the same event at the World Relays in Poland in May, Simbine will be aiming to do the same when the team are in action on Friday 6 August.

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