BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom, Aug 4 – After being humbled once again by Ferdinand Omanyala, South African sprint star Akani Simbine has heaped praise on the Kenyan, noting that he is in a class of his own.
Simbine was dethroned the Commonwealth Games title in Birmingham by Omanyala (10.02 Secs), settling for silver in 10.13 Secs.
Coincidentally, it is the same Omanyala who took his African title and his continent record.
Simbine noted that finishing second behind Omanyala was good for the continent and an encouragement for an African to win a world title.
Omanyala, who is eighth-fastest man of all time over the distance clocked 10.02 to win relatively comfortably ahead of continental rival and defending champion Simbine.
Speaking to Capital Sport in Birmingham, Simbine described his performance as a terrible execution of his race.
“It’s one of those days, but I am happy to be back on the podium for the umpteenth time. I am happy that two Africans are on the podium. That’s big for Africa, for sure. But for me, you know I wanted to come back to defend my title.”
“I have lost it but it doesn’t mean that I will not come back next year being better, stronger and faster,” said Simbine.
Simbine added that Omanyala’s good performance is a sign for better things to come for Africa.
“We definitely going to see an African on the podium for the Worlds, and Olympics and just leading a charge for African sprinters on the summit.”
-Alex Isaboke is reporting from Birmingham, United Kingdom-