Akani Simbine lost his African 100m crown to Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala in Mauritius on Thursday, but organisers had to measure the gap down to three-thousandths of a second to wrest it from him.
Omanyala had the slightest of leads over the final metre, but Simbine delivered the better dip on the line at the Cote d'Or national sports complex in Saint Pierre.
It was impossible to determine the winner with the naked eye and the two men walked arm in arm after the race as they waited a few minutes for the result to come through.
In the end Omanyala was measured at 9.927sec and Simbine 9.930, aided by a heavy tail wind of 4.5 metres per second.
The result gave Omanyala a 3-0 lead in head-to-head contests over Simbine, but the gap was the closest yet and will surely give the South African a measure of confidence as he heads to the world championships in the US next month and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, where he will attempt to defend that 100m title against Omanyala in early August.