Athletics

Wayde van Niekerk beats Akani Simbine in exciting 200m race

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Wayde van Niekerk (Supplied)
Wayde van Niekerk (Supplied)

Olympic and world record holder Wayde van Niekerk showed his enduring class and ability when he comfortably beat Akani Simbine in the men's 200m at the Athletics South Africa Athletix Invitational meeting at Ruimsig Athletics Stadium in Roodepoort.

Van Niekerk won in a time of 20.11 with Simbine finishing second in 20.29.

Tsebo Matsoso finished third, stopping the clock at 20.48.

Anaso Jobodwana was the biggest disappointment when he finished sixth in a time of 20.74

Faced with serious competition and a damp track, Van Niekerk shrugged off a sluggish start to catch Simbine at the 100m bend before powering away down the home straight.

While Simbine was probably favourite based on his recent 100m form where he recorded times of 10.00 and 9.99 in his most recent races, Van Niekerk was always going to be a formidable opponent.

As it proved, the smooth but deceptively fast running style of Van Niekerk saw him beat Simbine to the line.

While some of the races, like men’s and women’s 400m hurdles, went according to the rulebook with Sokwakhana Zazini (50.16) and Wenda Nel (56.19) dominant, a big shock came in the second 200m women’s heat where Namibia’s Beatrice Masilinga blitzed the field.

She won in a time of 22.59 with Justine Palframan finishing in a distant third in 23.52.

Sherley Nekhubvi was second in a time of 23.29.

Masilinga’s time made Miranda Coetzee’s 23.6 in the first heat from lane one look rather pedestrian. 

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