SA's Wayde van Niekerk has hailed the new Athletics World Cup to be held in London in July. Photo:: IAAF

JOHANNESBURG – SA’s 400m world record holder Wayde van Niekerk on Monday backed the format of the Athletics World Cup to be held in London in July.

British Athletics on Monday confirmed that eight of the world’s top athletics nations will compete in the inaugural Athletics World Cup London 2018 at the London Stadium on July 14 and 15.

The Olympic champion Van Niekerk is looking forward to seeing world-class athletics return to the British capital this summer.

“The South African team will be there in force and we hope to see fans from all over the world join us in London for what will be an amazing competition,” said Van Niekerk.

Eight of the world’s leading athletics nations – USA, Great Britain & Northern Ireland, Poland, China, Germany, France, Jamaica and South Africa – will compete for a $2million (R24m) prize pot over two evening sessions of athletics.

The competition format features all field and track events up to and including the 1500m. One man and one woman from each nation will be selected in each event in an all-straight final.

To mark 100 years since women were given the right to vote, and as part of the Mayor of London’s #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign, the first edition of the event will see all Nations select a woman as team captain.

“This is one of the exciting innovative events we are seeing in our sport and our thanks go to British Athletics and the Mayor of London for creating it and hosting it,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe. 

“We have eight lanes, eight top nations, eight teams and a host of world-class athletes lining up in each event to win the trophy and prize pot. This will be a fast-paced and exhilarating experience for athletes and fans.” 

African News Agency (ANA)

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