Ta Lou and Simbine clinch 100m African Titles in Asaba
The second day at the ongoing African Senior Championships in Asaba, Nigeria witnessed the crowning of new sprints Champions; Marie-Jose Ta Lou and Akani Simbine.
Ta Lou, who’s the reigning World Silver medallist entered the Championship as pre-tournament favourite, currently having the fastest time of 10.85s in the world this season.
The Ivorian lived up to this by setting the fastest times through the qualifying rounds, before winning the 100m final in a dominating style, clocking 11.15s to win her first African title thereby sealing her status as the fastest woman in the Continent this year.
Ghana’s Janet Amponsah, won the Silver medal in 11.54s ahead of Nigeria’s junior champion, Joy Udo-Gabriel who clocked 11.58s.
Ta Lou’s victory means Ivory Coast retains the bragging rights of being the best female sprinting nation in Africa, considering compatriot Murielle Ahoure won the title two years ago in Durban, South Africa.
Meanwhile in the men’s category, it was a tough choice on who’ll be crowned the African Champion pre-tournament, as both Simbine and Ivory Coast’s Arthur Cisse, had season records of being the eventual winner.
The duo are the only Africans to have gone sub-10s this year, with Simbine having a Season’s Best of 9.93s and Cisse, a Personal Best of 9.94s.
However, it was the Commonwealth Champion that got the edge clocking a time of 10.25s, to win his first African title. The Ivorian won Silver in 10.33s, while Simon Magakwe also of South Africa getting Bronze in 10.35s.
Attention will now shift to the 200m, which is set to begin on Day 3.