"I know I'll beat him" - Ferdinad Omanyala ahead of clash with Akani Simbine in Germiston tonight
"I'm going to run my race because I know I'll beat him." These are Ferdinand Omanyala's words ahead of tonight's hotly anticipated clash against Akani Simbine. After running a new African 100m record of 9.77 last September, Omanyala will take on the man whose record he broke over the 100m at the ASA Grand Prix Series World Challenger Tour meet at the Germiston Stadium tonight. And the Kenyan believes that he can run even faster than he won the 100m in 10.11 ahead of Clarence Munyai in Potchefstroom seven days ago.
"The target is to run under 10 seconds. Going into this race, I'm not looking at what he is going to run. I'm looking at the finish line. If I focus on him, I'll end up running like him and I don't want to do that. So I just want to give the guys a good show. This is like preparation for the African Champs because I know we will meet again there with Akani, so it's good that we are bringing the African Champs closer," laughed the man who ran 10.00 in Nairobi in March.
Simbine on the other hand has had a slower start to his season. The Commonwealth Games gold medalist and two-time Olympic finalist looked a bit sluggish during the third ASA Grand Prix Series Meet in Potch a week ago. Beaten into seventh (21.08) in a race won by Luxolo Adams (20.28), Simbine looked far more himself when he coasted to victory in 10.18 over his favourite distance at the CGA Championships on the same Germiston track on Saturday.
After that sub par performance at the PUK McArthur Stadium, the 4-time national champion bemoaned the chilly conditions while hinting that he would be ready for the epic clash against the rugby player turned sprinter. "Everyone is looking forward to the 100m next week," said the 28-year old moments after that 200m. "I love athletics because you're on your own. If you do well or do badly you only have yourself to look at it. It teaches you to stay in your lane and control your lane," he told #TheTopRunner.
Also in action tonight will be newly minted national 100m junior record holder Viwe Jingqi who goes in the 100m, while Munyai will face World U20 Championships silver medalist Benjamin Richardson over his preferred 200m. Taylon Bield and Wenda Nel meet again over 400mH after last week's epic race, while Carina Horn will run her third 100m race in seven days. In the middle distance events, reigning national champion Tshepo Tshite will run his specialist 800m. Catch all of the action on SuperSport from 6pm this evening.