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UP sprinter Akani Simbine narrowly missed out on a podium finish when he placed fifth in the 100 m final at the Rio Olympics.
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt took his third gold medal in the 100 m Olympic finals with a time of 9.81 s. USA’s Justin Gatlin took silver, crossing in a time of 9.89 s and Canada’s Andre de Grasse took bronze with a time of 9.91 s. Simbine was fast out of the blocks and by the 50 m mark looked on course for a medal, running neck and neck with Gatlin, who led at that stage. Bolt started in typical slow fashion but after the halfway mark powered his way through for the gold. Simbine could not sustain his pace and was overtaken by both Gatlin and De Grasse after the 50 m mark.
He still made history, however, by becoming the first South African male sprinter to make it into the final of the 100 m since South Africa’s readmission to the Olympic Games. Simbine qualified for the final as one of the two fastest sprinters outside of the top two in their respective semi-finals.
Image: Akani Simbine’s Twitter page.