LONDON – World champions Luvo Manyonga and Caster Semenya will head the gold rush for Team SA at the IAAF World Cup Athletics at the London Stadium on Saturday and Sunday.
Long jumper Manyonga, with a season-best leap of 8.58m in Diamond League action in Rome on May 31, goes into the meeting as the second-best performer in the pit event in 2018, although the leader, Cuban Juan Miguel Echevarria, with a distance of 8.68, will not be a part of the action.
It’s been a busy season for Semenya who has not been beaten in the 800 metres since September 2015, and with a career best of 1:54.25 set at the Diamond League meeting in Paris on June 30, few would bet against. The Limpopo star will also be in action in the 1500m event.
With a strong American and Jamaican sprint contingent set to be in the hunt for big cash in London, Akani Simbine (100 metres season best of 9.94) and Carina Horn (10.98 season best in Doha) will also be looking to impress. Their teammate, Clarence Munyai will go down in the blocks as the fastest man on the 200 metres outdoor scene in 2018, with a time of 19.69 set in Pretoria in March.
Experienced javelin athlete Sunette Viljoen, who finished with a bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Australia earlier this year, will be striving to get among the honours. Her season best of 62.46 set in Sasolburg back in March, should be surpassed in the arena in London.
Another evergreen campaigner who is quite capable of grabbing the headlines is Olympic 2008 long jump silver medalist Khotso Mokoena, who this time, will be in action in the triple jump event.
African News Agency (ANA)