GOLD COAST, Australia -- Akani Simbine has recorded a stunning performance to win the Commonwealth Games men's 100 metres, the South African taking full advantage of a stumbling start from Yohan Blake to claim his shock victory.
Blake arrived on the Gold Coast as the red-hot medal favourite, as the equal second-fastest man in history, and carrying the hopes of his sprinting-mad homeland of Jamaica,.But it was South Africa's night as Simbine snared the gold in 10.03 seconds ahead of his fellow South African countryman Henricho Bruintjies (10.17).
Blake recovered well enough to claim the bronze in 10.19.
"I knew it was something I could do, it was just a matter of coming here and making sure I put the perfect race together," said Simbine, who was fifth in the 100m final at the 2016 Rio Olympics, one spot behind Blake.
"This is probably my best achievement so far ... it's my first international title and for me it's a great feeling. "It's a milestone and a stepping-stone towards world championships and the Olympics."
After becoming the first South African to win a Commonwealth 100m title, the 24-year-old paid tribute to Blake.
"Yohan is a great competitor," he said.
"If he comes out to the track he's going to give his best, and I just needed to make sure I gave better."
Which he duly did, leaving Blake searching for answers.
"It was a pretty easy race for me to win because I've been feeling good," Blake, the 2011 world champion, said.
"I'm a bit disappointed because I've been feeling good, I've been running good and I just didn't put the start together; so I was all over the place.
"After my stumble I couldn't recover from it.
"Nothing threw me off; it was just stumbling all the way through."
Recently retired sprint king Usain Bolt had joked that Blake should not bother returning home to Jamaica unless he took the 100m gold medal with him.
"I got a medal so I hope he can settle for that," said Blake.
"I'm not worried. I know what I can do.
"It was just a bad race for me."