Six Commonwealth Games medallists have been included in the 39-member strong South African team to compete at the inaugural edition of the Athletics World Cup in London, England on 14-15 July.
South Africa will join teams from the United States, Poland, China, Germany, France, Jamaica and Great Britain & Northern Ireland, with a points system set to be used to determine the overall winner at the event.
With one athlete in each discipline set to represent each of the eight competing nations at the World Cup, the 2018 domestic ranking lists were used to select the SA team.
The team includes the bulk of the athletes who earned track and field medals at the Commonwealth Games in Australia two months ago, with sprinter Akani Simbine, long jumper Luvo Manyonga, middle-distance runner Caster Semenya, 400m hurdler Wenda Nel and javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen all making the grade in their specialist disciplines.
Though he misses out on a place in the 100m sprint, as Simbine holds a higher ranking, Commonwealth silver medallist Henricho Bruintjies has been included in the 4x100m men’s relay team.
Other athletes who could play key roles in the chase for World Cup points include sprinters Clarence Munyai and Carina Horn, who have both shattered national records this season, as well as former Olympic long jump silver medallist Khotso Mokoena, who lines up in the men’s triple jump event.
The programme for the two-day championship does not include long-distance or combined events disciplines.
‘This is our team of warriors, most of whom tried and tested,’ said Aleck Skhosana, the president of Athletics South Africa. ‘We believe that these are the athletes with high potential to bring this country the glory we seek.
‘The World Cup will give us an opportunity to gauge how far our push towards being the best in the world is and we wish every athlete, management and support staff the best in the search for personal and international glory.’
PHOTO: Commonwealth medallists Bruintjies and Simbine, by Wessel Oosthuizen/SASPA
The SA team for London’s World Cup:
Akani Simbine, Clarence Munyai, Derick Mokaleng, Reinhardt van Rensburg, Jerry Motsau, Antonio Alkana, Lindsey Hanekom, Chris Moleya, Neil Gilliomee, Luvo Manyonga, Kgotso Mokoena, Orazio Cremona, Victor Hogan, Tshepang Makhethe, Philmar Janse van Rensburg, Henricho Bruintjies, Rosco Engel, Simon Magakwe, Thapelo Phora, Pieter Conradie, Zakhitine Nene
Carina Horn, Justine Palframan, Caster Semenya, Rikenette Steenkamp, Wenda Nel, Julia du Plessis, Christy Nell, Lynique Beneke, Patience Ntshingila, Ischke Senegal, Margo Chene Pretorius, Sunette Viljoen, Tebogo Mamatu, Lente Pieterse, Cassidy Williamson, Tamsin Thomas, Ariane Nel, Rorisang Ramonye