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Simbine lashes out at ASA after relay failure

todayAugust 28, 2023 54

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South Africa’s 100m champion, Akani Simbine, did not hold back when asked what went wrong in Team South Africa’s 4x100m relay final at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest Hungary.

In a repeat of the Tokyo Olympics two years ago, the relay squad crashed out again in the final on Saturday night. The team made up of Shaun Maswanganyi, Benjamin Richardson, Clarence Munyai and Simbine, suffered a case of de ja vu after dropping the baton in the changeover between Richardson and Munyai in a race won by the United States (37.38sec), with Italy (37.62sec) and Jamaica (37.76sec) rounding off the podium places.

“I think we could have won this, so that’s what irks me. We would have given America a run for their money,” said Simbine in the media mixed zone after the race.

Simbine placed the blame firmly on the shoulders of Athletics South Africa (ASA), saying the federation does not give the team ample time to prepare for the race.

“We always come into championships and have to figure it out when we get here,” added the 29-year-old.

“We always talk about fixing it, and the federation says ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’, but what happens? It’s all talk,” he said.

“I’m a person who always keeps quiet, but now it’s gotten to a point where South Africa needs to know that the federation does not help us and does not bring us together.

“We are expected to run and we’re expected to be at our best, but we don’t have training camps together as a relay team, and they have to figure that out.”

With the country’s premier athletes based in different countries and continents, the logistical challenges of getting them together for training camps were significant.

Simbine, however, felt they could work around their schedules if they had assistance from the federation.

Written by: Ntsako Mukhari

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