SA Olympics trio are in it to win it



August 12, 2016
SA Olympics trio are in it to win it

NEED FOR SPEED: Wayde van Niekerk

Wayde, Akani and Chad are chasing gold this weekend.

Wayde van Niekerk, Akani Simbine and Chad le Clos will all be going for gold this weekend at the Olympics.

Chad le Clos is competing for the 100m butterfly title tonight (3.12am).

And he will be facing off against nemesis Michael Phelps again.

The 24-year-old South African will have to keep his cool in the pool this time after getting caught up in the hype ahead of his 200m fly showdown with the man he pipped in London four years ago.

But after leading Tuesday’s race over the first 150m in Rio, he will believe that he has the pace in the shorter course race.

400m world champion Van Niekerk and 100m ace Simbine are out to burn up the track when the Athletics programme starts today.

The pair will be up against star-studded fields for the three-day contest with the competition culminating in Sunday night’s finals.

Kraaifontein-born one-lap sprinter Wayde will come up against USA’s LaShaun Merritt and Grenada’s Kirani James.

Wayde is favourite  after his performances in the IAAF Diamond League put him at the top of the rankings  when the event kicks off at 2am tonight.

But for Akani Simbine, things will be a little bit tougher.

Simbine is hoping to become only the third SA sprinter to win an Olympic medal.

Double defending champion Usain Bolt and the USA’s Justin Gatlin are tipped to be the main protagonists in the 100m, but Simbine has the ability to cause an upset.

His time of 9.89sec is listed by the IAAF as the fifth best for 2016.

Only Justin Gatlin (USA) 9.80, Trayon Bromell (USA) 9.84, Jimmy Vicaut (France) 9.86 and Usain Bolt (Jamaica) 9.88 have run faster times so far this season.

According to Werner Prinsloo, who coaches Simbine, his charge is not talking much about what may or may not happen.

He says: “Judging by the way he has been training and his general demeanour, I can’t help getting the impression that Akani is quietly confident.

“This is a good sign because it shows that he believes in his abilities.”

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