SA’s Magakwe guns for Bolt

2012-05-23 11:45

South African sprint sensation Simon Magakwe will line up alongside Jamaican icon Usain Bolt in the 100m final of the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Friday.

This is a race the 26-year-old said would push him closer to his dream of running a sub-10 second time.

Magakwe of Athletics Royal Bafokeng, clocked a record-equalling 10.06 during the recent South African track and field season and he said his target was a 9.89 mark.

“There is no doubt that Bolt will drag me into running a faster time,” Magakwe told City Press from Ostrava last night ahead of the IAAF World Challenge event in which Caster Semenya (800m), Tsholofelo Thipe (200m, 400m), Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (800m) and Oscar Pistorius (400m) will also compete in their respective disciplines.

“This will be the third time that I face Bolt. My plan is to not panic so as to achieve a personal best. I want to make sure that I get everything right for the race so that I get a good result.”

Magakwe is among a few group of track and field athletes who are chasing a second Olympic A-standard mark to fulfil Athletics SA and Sascoc qualifying criteria.

Locally, he ran the 10.18 A-qualifier four times in the 100m and twice dipped under the set 20.55 time in the 200m.

He is a national champion in the two events.

In Ostrava, Magakwe and Bolt will face off again nine months since their last race together during the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

Bolt won the heat in 10.10 while Magakwe came fourth in 10.53 and missed out on a semifinal qualification.

Meanwhile Mulaudzi will come up against his long time rival and world 800m champion David Rudisha of Kenya in the two-lap race.

In the men’s 400m line-up, Paralympic icon “Blade Runner” Pistorius will go face to face with leading quartermilers such as Olympic 400m champion LaShwan Merrit of the US and Jamaica’s Jermaine Gonzales.

In the women’s events, the spotlight will be on Semenya and Kenyan Pamela Jelimo in the 800m while Thipe will race world champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica in the 200m.

» Catch the Ostrava meeting on SS7 from 6.15pm to 9pm on Friday

» Read more athletics in City Press on Sunday.

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