JOHANNESBURG – Caster Semenya will be looking to sizzle in Paris as she leads five fellow South Africans at the Diamond League meeting on Saturday.
The three-time world champion will line up in her favourite 800-metre event where she is set to again assert her dominance.
Sprinting sensation Akani Simbine, will round off South Africa’s performances in the French capital in a star-studded 100m race.
Semenya leads the Diamond race in the two-lap race with three more than perennial challenger Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi.
Niyonsaba has come closest to upsetting Semenya but the South African is approaching three years of going unbeaten in the distance.
The women’s 800m race will see the 2017 IAAF World Championships medallist line up against each other with Semenya and Niyonsaba being joined by bronze medallist Ajee Wilson of the United States.
The race will also include Olympic bronze medallist Margaret Wambui of Kenya and Dutch star and former world 1500m bronze medallist Sifan Hassan.
Commonwealth Games champion Simbine dipped below 10 seconds for the first time this season at last week’s IAAF World Challenge meeting in Madrid.
He clocked 9.98 seconds in his heat but had to be content with third place after cramping up early in the final.
The South African will have his work cut out as he will face American duo Mike Rodgers and Ronnie Baker, who boast the second (9.89) and third (9.90) fastest times so far this year respectively.
Simbine's compatriot Henrico Bruintjies and fellow sub-10 second man Thando Roto will also be racing in Paris where they will feature in the B-race of the 100 metres.
National 110m hurdles record holder Antonio Alkana will line up in a qualifying heat in his specialist event with an eye on a spot in the final.
Completing the South African contingent, half-lap sprint specialist Luxolo Adams is racing in the non-Diamond 200m event.
Boasting a season’s and personal best of 20.01, Adams is experiencing a breakthrough year with a few podium finishes on the European circuit under his belt. He was third at the Stockholm Diamond League behind world champ Ramil Guliyev.@ockertde