Athletics SA president Aleck Skhosana, left, says the organisation heeded a request from the athletes' coaches to hold the national championships earlier. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

Responding to a call from coaches to shift the 2018 ASA Senior Championships forward, Athletics South Africa will now stage the national Track and Field showpiece ahead of the Commonwealth Games, which are scheduled for April.

While the ASA Senior Championships are traditionally held in April, the 2018 edition was provisionally scheduled to take place after the multi-sport Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

This means the country’s top athletes will now battle for national titles in Tshwane between March 15-17.

The national championships will be held three weeks before the Track and Field competition gets under way at the Games.

“During the successful coaches’ symposium in Bloemfontein last month, coaches made an informed request to readjust the national championships so that they can use it primarily as a springboard for the Commonwealth Games and ASA has accepted,” said ASA president Aleck Skhosana.

“We took note that the Games will be held earlier than most international outdoor championships, so it made sense. Listening to the coaches and their opinions is crucial in our drive to take the federation forward, as they are a direct link to the athletes.

“We hope this decision will assist athletes in their final preparation for the Games, as the national championships offers world-class competition.”

Though the fixtures list has not yet been finalised, a number of events have been pencilled into the calendar.

The ASA Under-18 and Under-20 Championships will be hosted by Boland between April 19-21.

Later in the year, the ASA Cross Country Championships will be held between September 7-8. The host province will be announced at a later stage, along with dates and venues for other championships and series.

Athletics South Africa