South African sprint star Akani Simbine produced a polished performance to finish third in the men’s 100 metres final at the Muller Anniversary Games Diamond League meeting held at the London Stadium in London, England on Saturday.
Racing in the final event on Day 1 of the two-day meeting, Simbine clocked 9.94 secs, to be just outside of his season best of 9.93 that he recorded in the heats earlier in the afternoon.
The 9.94 time showed a level of consistency as prior to the London event, this had been his season-best effort set at the Diamond League meeting in Paris on June 30.
Victory in London went to American Ronnie Baker in 9.90 with Britain’s Zharnel Hughes second in 9.93.
Baker, along with fellow American Noah Lyles, shares the fastest 100 metres outdoor season time of 2018 at 9.88.
Lyles was not in action in London as he had run over 200 metres the previous night in the Diamond League meeting in Monaco.
Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Sunette Viljoen returned to the same arena where she took the honours for Team SA at the eight-nation World Cup Athletics last weekend but this time things did not work out in her favour.
Her second throw of the afternoon proved to be her best of the competition, landing at the 60.34 metres mark, well short of last Saturday’s winning effort of 61.69.
Viljoen’s performance saw her finish in a sixth spot well short of the winning distance of 65.54 by China’s Lyu Hui Hui.
Wenda Nel ended fifth in the 400 metres hurdles in 55.67 with American Shamier Little claiming victory in 53.95.
The South African contingent in London will be hoping for a better day on Sunday, with in-form world long jump champion Luvo Manyonga quite possible the country’s best chance of making it to the top of the medal podium.
Others in action at the London Stadium on Sunday will be Rikenette Steenkamp (100 metres hurdles), Ruswahl Samaai (long jump), Antonio Alkana (110 metres hurdles) and Ncincilili Titi (200 metres).