It is a top-class contingent boasting four national record holders, with the country’s two fastest sprinters, Akani Simbine and Clarence Munyai, also backing into the blocks.
The men’s long jump competition could see South Africans sweep the podium with African champion Ruswahl Samaai and former Commonwealth Games silver medallist Zarck Visser sharing the stage with Manyonga, pictured.
Manyonga is the world’s leading jumper this year with his 8.35m jump at the SA champs in Germiston last month.
Samaai, who finished behind Manyonga at the nationals, is ranked fifth with his 8.21m jump.
Visser is back to jumping eight metres-plus and will also be in the hunt for a medal in Shanghai.
SA 100m record holder Akani Simbine will line up in his first short sprint of the year against some of the world’s fastest men.
Simbine will be flying high from his stellar contribution to South Africa’s silver medal performance in the 4x200m at last weekend’s IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, where he anchored the team to a new African record of 1min 20.12sec in the final.
Simbine will be looking lay down a marker against a top field including world silver medallist Christian Coleman and rising star Noah Lyles of the US.
Simbine’s coach Werner Prinsloo said Simbine would have to be at his best tomorrow.
“It is going to be a real fight... three-quarters of that field is likely to be in a semi-final at the world championships,” he said.
“Running against a field like this, your placement is more important than the time to get a psychological edge.”
SA 200m record holder Munyai has been battling with injuries since he set a new national mark of 19.69 seconds in Pretoria in March 2018.
He goes up against world champion Ramil Guliyev of Turkey and Canadian Olympic silver medallist Andre de Grasse.
Javelin thrower Viljoen will be looking to regain her form, opening her international season against a quality field.
She will have to improve on her season’s best effort of 61.22m if she wants to earn a place on the podium.
Viljoen could not land a single throw over 60 metres at the SA champs last month.
She will go up against three women who have posted distances of more than 65 metres.
SA 110m hurdles record holder Antonio Alkana has his work cut out against a field that includes three sub-13sec athletes.@ockertde