Gift Leotlela has made another explosive statement on the comeback trail, becoming the sixth South African sprinter to run under 10 seconds in the 100m dash.
After struggling with injuries in recent years, Leotlela bounced back by taking the silver medal in 9.94 seconds at the SA Senior Championships in Pretoria last month.
While that sub-10 performance was not ratified due to a strong tailwind, however, he stormed home to win the SA student title at the University of Johannesburg track on Friday, again clocking 9.94 with a ‘legal’ +1.1m/s wind.
The 23-year-old athlete, who formed part of the national team that won 4x100m gold at the World Athletics Relays in Poland earlier this month, sliced 0.18 off his personal best in track and field’s blue ribbon event.
In the process, the former World U-20 Championships silver medallist booked his place in the SA team for the Tokyo Olympic Games in August.
Leotlela joins countrymen Akani Simbine (9.89), Wayde van Niekerk (9.94), Thando Roto (9.95), Henricho Bruintjies (9.97) and Simon Magakwe (9.98) who have all run under 10 seconds since Magakwe became the first South African to break the barrier in April 2014.