SA shows depth ahead of London

Wayde van Niekerk is seto to defend his 400m world title in London next month.  / Simphiwe Nkwali
Wayde van Niekerk is seto to defend his 400m world title in London next month. / Simphiwe Nkwali

Athletics SA (ASA) yesterday gave indication of track and field hopefuls who have provisionally booked their berths for the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Championships in London next month.

As expected, Rio Olympics medalists - Wayde van Niekerk (400m), Luvo Manyonga (long jump), Caster Semenya (800m) and Sunette Viljoen (javelin) - headline the 22-member preliminary team.

Other athletes with world championships experience such as Akani Simbine (100m) and Khotso Mokoena (long jump) have also made the team, so is rising sprinter Clarence Munyai who is set to debut at the senior global track and field meeting.

Mokoena is among the four jumpers who have qualified but only three will make it to London as per the required quota than can be entered per country in each event.

Other local athletes, meanwhile, have until July 23 to breach the ASA A-qualifying standard, which is tougher than that set by the IAAF.

At most, hopefuls must record their personal best marks in their respective events to stand any chance of making the final team by the cut-off date.

ASA is also crossing fingers to have a relay team at the championships.

The federation is hopeful that the 4x100m men's relay team will make it as one of the eight nations to go with the eight that have already qualified at the World Relays in April.

ASA president Aleck Skhosana has encouraged athletes to work hard to get into the team.

"There is still a chance for anybody who wants to represent South Africa at this global premier event," Skhosana said.

The world championships will be held from August 4 to 13.

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