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Leotlela becomes 6th SA sprinter to clock under 10 second 100m time, qualifies for Olympics

Gift Leotlela (Gallo Images)


Gift Leotlela (Gallo Images)

One of South Africa’s 4X100m men’s sprinters, Gift Leotlela, clocked an impressive sub-10 second 100m time at the USSA Championships in Johannesburg on Friday.

The 23-year-old became the sixth South African to nail a 100-metre dash under 10 seconds with an Olympic qualifying time of 9.94. (10.05) which saw him secure a ticket to the global showpiece taking place later this year in Tokyo.

Leotlela joins Akani Simbine (9.89s), Wayde Van Niekerk (9.94s), Henricho Bruintjies (9.97s), Thando Roto (9.95s) and Simon Magakwe (9.98s) on the list of local runners who have recorded a sub-10 second race.

The Phuthaditjhaba-born revealed that he felt good during the semi-final race as he clocked in a time of 10.02 seconds, which he believes set him up for the victory in the final.

“I had a good start in my semi final. Over the latter stages of the race, I purposely slowed down to save my legs,” Leotlela said as quoted by SuperSport.

“In the final, my only goal was to execute my technique to perfection. I again had a good start. Then it was a case of running flat out until I crossed the finish line.”

At the start of the month, Leotlela, alongside Simbine, Clarence Munyai and Thando Dlodlo, formed part of the South African 4x100m relay team that won gold during the World Athletics Relays.

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