Akani Simbine has the antidote to pressure.


The ambition for Tokyo 2020 is gold. I think about winning gold. I can imagine myself crossing that finish line first, being the fastest man. I’m so focused on that - I don’t really even think about pressure.It wasn’t always that way.In 2012 I remember the final where I tensed up in the last 10 metres. The pressure must have caught up with me. I got beaten by a whole lot of guys.


I was just this kid who was stepping into athletics. I was just trying to be one of the guys who’ll be a lane filler. Now I’ve gone from being a lane filler to being a medal contender. That’s when I started thinking, I’m doing this thing because I want to be the best. I’m doing this because I want to represent South Africa. I want to go to the Olympics.

Running wasn’t always a dream for me growing up. The moment I decided to make running a profession was when I was faster than the competition.

Now I don’t tense up in the last 10 metres. It's just maturity and, being able to believe in yourself and be more of yourself. Stay in your lane and focus on you, focus on what you've done, be confident in yourself, motivate yourself.

And that's who I am now. I believe that everyone comes with a purpose, and my purpose is to run.