<
>

South Africa sprinter Akani Simbine sets new records ahead of Olympics

Akani Simbine of South Africa won the 100m (new SA and African record) and 200m events in Hungary on Tuesday. Andrea Staccioli/Insidefoto/LightRocket via Getty Images

South Africa sprinter Akani Simbine broke the African and South African 100-metre records at the Istvan Gyulai Memorial in Hungary on Tuesday.

Simbine completed the race in 9.84 seconds -- 0.05 seconds faster than his own South African record of 9.89 set in Hungary in July 2016.

He also broke the African record of 9.85, which was previously held by Nigeria's Olusoji Fasuba.

The 27-year-old African champion is preparing for the Olympic Games, scheduled to start in Tokyo later this month. He finished in fifth position at the 100-metre event at Rio Games five years ago.

"This gives me a lot of confidence. We were hoping for something to happen this week. And to break the African record is really great. It's something we've been working towards for a number of years," Simbine said.

He also won the 200-metre contest in 20.25 seconds on the day.

"Simbine is in top form and performing in the level of top medal contenders at the Olympics. You can see that he is enjoying what he is doing and that's a good sign of good things to come," Athletics South Africa president James Moloi said.

"With a few weeks to, we are thrilled that his build-up remains on course. Our congratulations go to him, coach and his support team. We urge them to keep their focus on the bigger picture, which is a podium finish at the competition in Tokyo."