On a weekend when many fixtures have been cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus, Pretoria’s Pilditch Athletics Stadium was a hive of activity on Friday and Saturday (13-14) as it hosted the Athletics Gauteng North Championships.
Commonwealth and African champion Akani Simbine produced the standout performance of the championships, coming within 0.02 of his own South African record when winning his 100m heat in 9.91 (1.7m/s). His performance is the fastest time ever recorded by an African athlete on African soil.
He followed it with a 10.03 (-1.8m/s) clocking in the semifinals and a 10.01 (1.3m/s) victory in the final.
There were fast times in the younger section too as Phatutshedzo Maswanganye, the African U20 200m champion, sped to a national U20 record of 10.06 (0.8m/s) in the semifinal. His time took 0.05 off the previous South African U20 record and is just 0.01 shy of the African U20 record set back in 1990 by Davidson Ezinwa of Nigeria.
Clarence Munyai impressed in the 200m, winning the final in 20.48 (-0.1m/s) after clocking 20.23 in the semifinals.
Sinesipho Dambile won the U20 contest in 20.47, matching the time he ran in the heats. Eckhardt Potgieter was close behind in 20.53 while Maswanganyi was third in 20.61, having clocked a PB of 20.50 in the heats.
Elsewhere, African U18 champion Prudence Sekgodiso won the U20 women’s 800m in a PB of 2:02.16.