Akani Simbine. Picture: LUKE WALKER/GALLO IMAGES
Akani Simbine. Picture: LUKE WALKER/GALLO IMAGES

Having enticed an additional sponsor‚ sprinter Akani Simbine migrates to Europe on Tuesday as confident as ever he can win a medal at the world championships in London in August, writes David Isaacson.

Simbine and Wayde van Niekerk head to training camp in Gemona‚ Italy‚ for the northern hemisphere summer.

He had achieved the goals he had set for himself so far this season‚ such as consistently running the 100m in under 10sec and winning a Diamond League race.

In Doha, he became the first South African athlete to win a Diamond League short sprint‚ beating Olympic silver medallist Justin Gatlin and bronze medallist Andre De Grasse.

"I want to continue with that. I also want to improve on the 200m and go to world champs … and just come back with a medal‚" he said.

The 100m was a mental game‚ he said. "No matter who’s on the track ... I will go saying ‘no‚ I want to beat these guys’.

"Now, I actually have the confidence‚ not just the words‚" he said on Monday, while announcing a deal with car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz.

In his next two races Simbine will line up against Yohan Blake in Boston on June 4 and Usain Bolt in Jamaica six days later.

"It’s two more opportunities for me to lay down the marker and get people believing I’m not just a one-hit wonder."

TMG Digital

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