Akani Simbine will be part of the 4x100m and 4x200m teams at the IAAF World Relays this weekend. Photo: Tracey Nearmy/EPA

Wayde van Niekerk was not included, but Akani Simbine and Anaso Jobodwana will spearhead the South African teams at the World Relays Championships in Japan this weekend.

Olympic champion and 400m world record holder Van Niekerk withdrew from the South African championships last month due to the chilly weather in Germiston.

He tweeted afterwards: “Sad to announce my withdrawal from the @AthleticsSA_ Senior Champs.

“Was looking forward to competing again on home soil after a good build-up but the weather isn’t playing along so we don't want to take any chances. I look forward to representing SA on the international circuit.”

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Henricho Bruintjies also missed the trip to Japan as he is still making his way back from injury.

Van Niekerk’s ability to post quick times in the 100m, 200m and 400m would’ve made him an ideal candidate for the IAAF World Relays, but he was not part of the team announced by Athletics South Africa on Thursday.

In addition, ASA said that 100m star Carina Horn and 400m hurdlers Zeney van der Walt and Wenda Nel withdrew from the squad.

But the SA team will have some powerhouse sprinters in the men’s 100m, with Simbine and Jobodwana joined by newly crowned national champion Simon Magakwe, Thando Roto, Emile Erasmus and Chederick van Wyk.

Simbine and Jobodwana also form part of the 200m team, while Justine Palframan is in the women’s 100m and 4x400m mixed groups.

The IAAF World Relays take place in the Japanese city of Yokohama on Saturday and Sunday.

“We will soldier on with the athletes we have and make the best of the contest,” Athletics SA president Aleck Skhosana said on Thursday.

“It is going to be a very competitive championship and predictably exciting. The team we are sending has a mandate to reach the podium in each event.”

SA Relay Teams

Men – 4x100m: Emile Erasmus, Anaso Jobodwana, Simon Magakwe, Thando Roto, Akani Simbine, Chederick van Wyk.

4x200m: Luxolo Adams, Sinesipho Dambile, Gardeo Isaacs, Anaso Jobodwana, Akani Simbine, Chederick van Wyk.

4x400m: Pieter Conradie, Ranti Dikgale, Ashley Hlungwani, Gardeo Isaacs, Thapelo Phora, Jon Seeliger.

Women – 4x100m: Justine Palframan, Rikenette Steenkamp, Tamzin Thomas, Rose Xeyi, Tebogo Mamatu.

Mixed – 4x400m: Pieter Conradie, Gardeo Isaacs, Justine Palframan, Thapelo Phora.

Team Management: Pieter Lourens (team leader), Brandon du Plessis (manager), Paul Gorries (team coach) and Irma Reyneke (team coach).


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