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Omanyala dips under 10 seconds to beat Simbine at ASA Grand Prix

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Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala became the first athlete to dip under 10 seconds on SA soil this year, producing the highlight of the ASA Grand Prix meeting in Germiston on Wednesday night.

Omanyala, who set the African record of 9.77 seconds last season, clocked 9.98 to win the men’s 100m race, holding off a challenge from African champion Akani Simbine who finished second in 10.11.

“I’m not always competing against people,” Omanyala said of his rivalry with Simbine, who gained some momentum with a season’s best ahead of next week’s national championships in Cape Town.

Ferdinand Omanyala and Akani Simbine in action during the men’s 100m race. Picture: Gallo Images

“I set myself a goal to run a sub-10 and my target was to control the race from the beginning,” Omanyala added.

“I had a good start, so I achieved that, and now we’ll build towards the Commonwealth Games and African Championships later this year.”

In the men’s 200m race, Clarence Munyai showed a quality field a clean pair of heels, winning comfortably in 20.33 despite pulling up a bit before the line. Junior prospect Benjamin Richardson took the runner-up spot in 20.67.

Hurdles breakthrough

In one of the standout performances of the night, which saw some late changes to the programme in order to avoid load shedding, 19-year-old Marione Fourie charged to victory in the women’s 100m hurdles, stopping the clock at 12.93 to become only the third South African to break 13 seconds in the event. She was 0.12 outside Rikenette Steenkamp’s national record (12.81).

Among the other highlights at the fourth leg of the Grand Prix series, youth star Viwe Jingqi won the women’s 200m race in 23.11, Jovan van Vuuren landed at 8.10m to take the men’s long jump, Victor Hogan won the discus throw with a 61.54m heave, and Nikola Ogrdonikova of the Czech Republic secured victory in the women’s javelin with a 60.11m throw.