Carli-Ann Furno

Tuks athletes LJ van Zyl and Akani Simbine left their mark at the Diamond League Meeting held in New York on 13 June.

Van Zyl, who has been unable to break the 49 second barrier in the 400m hurdles in the past three years, was determined to run the kind of race he knew he was capable of. Meeting his expectations, he finished the race in a time of 48.78 seconds, coming from behind to clutch second place. Describing the event as “the kind of confidence boost [he] needed”, van Zyl plans to keep the momentum going in the international season ahead. He has now received an invite to the Diamond League Meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, which will be held on 9 July.

Simbine, who had an exceptional national season, took on some of the world’s top 100m sprinters. Running into a head wind of 1.7m/s, he was able to place fourth with a time of 10.18 seconds, following athletes Keston Bledman, Nesta Carter and Tyson Gay . Simbine’s determination to bring his best to every race was displayed in his fight for fourth position in the second half of the race. He commented on the event saying, “I am very happy with my [international] results so far. I am glad I have been consistent, taking down my times with every race. This has helped with my confidence and I plan to keep on working very hard going into [the] World Championships.”

Creating an exciting build-up for the IAAF World Championship that will be held later this year in Beijing, van Zyl and Simbine aim to continue their successful international streak.

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