JOHANNESBURG – A strong preliminary South African team consisting of 52 athletes were named on Monday for this year’s African Athletics Championships in Asaba, Nigeria at the beginning of August.
The squad consists of an equal representation between men and women, with the team being groomed for the 2019 IAAF World Championships and ultimately the 2020 Olympic Games.
Middle-distance queen Caster Semenya has qualified for the 400m, 800m and the 1 500m, and has also been selected for the women’s 4x400m relay team.
It is, however, unlikely that she would feature in all four events, with the final team still to be finalised.
World gold medallist Luvo Manyonga will spearhead a long-jump trio which includes African champion Ruswahl Samaai.
Athletics South Africa have set the four relay teams the target of times that will position them in the top-16 on the planet to qualify for the IAAF World Championships in Doha next year.
Both the men’s 100m and 200m events have strong representation, with Akani Simbine, Simon Magakwe and Roscoe Engel earning selection in the short-sprint event.
National half-lap record-holder Clarence Munyai, former world bronze medallist Anaso Jobodwana and rising talent Luxolo Adams have been named for the 200m event.
South African 100m record holder Carina Horn has been selected for her specialist race, along with Cassidy Williamson and Tebogo Mamatu.
Rikenette Steenkamp, who recently broke the national 100m hurdles record, has also been included in the team.
World youth champions Sokwakhana Zazini and Zeney van der Walt are expected to feature in the men’s and women’s 400m hurdles respectively.
The preliminary South African team is:
100m: Akani Simbine, Roscoe Engel, Simon Magakwe
200m: Clarence Munyai, Luxolo Adams, Anaso Jobodwana
400m: Thapelo Phora, Pieter Conradie, Zakithi Nene
800m: Tshepu Tshite, Rynardt van Rensburgh, Kabelo Simon Mohlosi
10 000m: Stephen Mokoka
110m hurdles: Antonio Alkana, Ruan de Vries
400m hurdles: Lindsey Hanekom, Le Roux Hamman, Soks Zanini
High Jump: Chris Moleya, Mpho Links, Breyton Poole
Pole Vault: Valco van Wyk, Eckhardt van der Watt
Long jump: Luvo Manyonga, Ruswahl Samaai, Cheswill Johnson
Triple jump: Khotso Mokoena
Shot put: Orazio Cremona, Kayle Blignaut
Discus throw: Victor Hogan
Hammer throw: Chris Harmse
Javelin throw: Johan Grobler, Philmar van Rensburg, Anro van Eeden
Decathlon: Friedrich Pretorius, Duncan McGladdery
20km race walk: Lebogang Shange, Wayne Snyman
4x100m relay: Akani Simbine, Roscoe Engel, Simon Magakwe, Clarence Munyai, Henricho Bruintjies, Anaso Jobodwana
4x400m relay: Thapelo Phora, Pieter Conradie, Zakithti Nene, Sokwakhana Zazini Zazini, Lindsay Hanekom, Le Roux Hamman
100m: Carina Horn, Cassidy Williamson, Tebogo Mamatu
200m: Justine Palframan, Tamzin Thomas
400m: Caster Semenya, Justine Palframan
800m: Caster Semenya
1500m: Caster Semenya, Dominque Scott-Efurd
100m hurdles: Rikenette Steenkamp
400m hurdles: Zeney van der Walt, Wenda Nel
Pole vault: Jodie Sedres
Long jump: Lynique Beneke, Zinzi Chabangu
Triple jump: Patience Ntshongila, Zinzi Chabangu
Shot put: Ischke Senekal, Riette Heyns, Yolandi Stander
Javelin throw: Sunette Viljoen, Jo-Ane van Wyk, Megan Wilke
Heptathlon: Nienka du Toit
20km race walk: Anel Oosthuizen, Zelda Schultz
4x100m relay: Carina Horn, Tebogo Mamatu, Cassidy Williamson, Tamzin Thomas, Rikenette Steenkamp, Rose Xeyi
4x400m relay: Justine Palframan, Caster Semenya, Wenda Nel, Zeney van der Walt, Ariane Nel