Akani Simbine responds to Ferdinand Omanyala & Letsile Tebogo over Africa sprints king debate

Akani Simbine is regarded as one of Africa's and world's best sprinters in history

Akani Simbine responds to Ferdinand Omanyala & Letsile Tebogo over Africa sprints king debate

Joel Omotto 16:50 - 21.05.2024

South African sprinter Akani Simbine has shared his thoughts on whom between him, Ferdinand Omanyala and Letsile Tebogo is the best sprinter in Africa.

South African sprinter Akani Simbine has weighed in on the raging debate on who is the best sprinter in Africa.

Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omanyala recently declared himself the king of sprints on the continent, pointing to his African record and title as well as his Commonwealth gold medal as enough proof that no one is better than him in Africa.

That has put him on a collision course with Botswana sensation Letsile Tebogo, the world 100m silver and 200m bronze medallist.

Tebogo fired a salvo at Omanyala last week, saying he is yet to prove it where it matters following his semi-final exit at the Tokyo Olympics and seventh place finish at the 2023 World Championships where the 20-year-old won two medals.

“To me, it does not make sense if you are the African champion, but where it mattered the most, he could not step in,” Tebogo fired back at Omanyala in an interview with Track and Field network.

Days later, Omanyala took to the track in the 100m at the Atlanta City Games where he lined up against Simbine and the South African won the race in a world leading time of 9.90 while the Kenyan was second in 10.00.

Asked his opinion on whether he is part of the debate, Simbine responded: “I am waiting for that conversation, I never left. We will see,” suggesting he should be among those being discussed, especially with the Paris Olympics on the horizon.

Simbine is a former African champion and record holder but those two titles were taken away from him by Omanyala who set a new mark of 9.77 in 2021 while he is also the 100m African champion.

Based on current form, Simbine trumps both Omanyala and Tebogo in 100m given he is the first to dip under 10 seconds this year.

His 9.90 came after he had managed 10.01 on two occasions, both recorded in April when he finished first, while Omanyala ran 10.03 at the Kip Keino Classic where he finished a disappointing fifth, before improving it to 10.00 in Atlanta.

Tebogo meanwhile managed 10.13 in his first 100m of the season at the Los Angeles Grand Prix last weekend.

Fans would have hoped to see the debate settled even before the Olympics at the African Athletics Championships from June 19-23 in Douala, Cameroon but Omanyala will not be participating while Simbine and Tebogo, who lost his mother at the weekend, have not indicated if they will be attending.

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