Wayde van Niekerk masterfully displayed his world-class performance and crossed the line in the men’s 200m race at 20.10s (albeit with a +2.1m/s tailwind) tailored by Akani Simbine, the national 100m record holder at 20.29s and Tsebo Matsoso at 20.48s in the second leg of the ASA Athletix Invitation at Roodepoort Athletics Stadium yesterday, 30 March 2021.
The athletics meeting was in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic 2021.
“This definitely gave me confidence I didn’t have before,” said Van Niekerk, the 400m world record holder, who recorded a season’s best. It’s one thing training well, but it’s a different thing executing it against such a quality line-up, guys I have the world of respect for.”
“I just ran a terrible bend, but other than that I’m happy with the race,” said Simbine.
The men’s discus was led by Werner Visser with a 60.88m throw. Johann Grobler, the former U-20 World Championships medallist, won the men’s javelin throw with a 78.84m.
Acting Executive Director for Community Development in the City of Johannesburg Mokomane Mekgoe, accompanied by the Director of Sport and Recreation Siyanda Mnukwa, welcomed the athletes on behalf of the City.
“The City is proud to showcase its international sport facilities and their use is of importance in driving social cohesion, development and excellence. This is a contribution to athletes and we wish them well in their preparation for Tokyo,” said Mekgoe.
It was another wonderful competition day for track and field athletes despite the downpour of rain at the tail of the programme.
“We are particularly happiest that we were able to offer several athletes in both South Africa and from our neighbouring countries a chance to either seek qualifications or improve and test their level of performance,” said Aleck Skhosana, the president of Athletics South Africa.
“We are encouraged to have witnessed that some of the athletes are at an advanced level of preparation. We are extremely happy with the success of this event, our first since a lockdown was declared by the national government a year ago. This was a great return to athletics for ASA,” concluded Skhosana.