Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
SIMBINE, VAN ROOYEN READY FOR ROME
Sprinter Akani Simbine and javelin thrower Rocco van Rooyen will carry the South African flag at the Diamond League meeting in Rome on Thursday night.
Simbine, who holds a season’s best of 10.09 seconds, turns out in the men’s 100m race with Simon Magakwe’s national record of 9.98 on the line.
The 21-year-old speedster from Pretoria is up against the likes of controversial American Justin Gatlin, the fastest man in the world this year, as well as former World Indoor Championships 60m silver medallist Michael Rodgers and former world 100m champion Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Four athletes in the eight-man line-up have run under 10 seconds this season, and all seven of Simbine’s competitors hold faster career bests than the South African’s 10.02 set in Pretoria last year.
Meanwhile, Van Rooyen will be eager to build on his impressive form, after he launched a personal best of 85.39m at the ASA Invitation meeting in Cape Town less than two weeks ago, climbing to fourth place in the SA all-time list.
The 22-year-old athlete faces a strong field including Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago, world champion Vitezslav Vesely of the Czech Republic, former world champion Tero Pitkamaki of Finland and Commonwealth champion Julius Yego of Kenya.
The meeting will be televised live from 8pm on SuperSport 6.