Home Sport ASA picks strongest squad for inaugural Athletics World Cup

ASA picks strongest squad for inaugural Athletics World Cup

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Limited to one man and one woman per event in an all-straight final format there will also be 4x100m and 4x400m relays.

FREQUENT FLYER: Luvo Manyonga has been named in the ASA squad headed for the Athletics World Championships in July. Picture: EPA

South Africa has announced a 40-member squad consisting of 22 men and 18 women for the inaugural Athletics World Cup which is set for London on July 14 and 15.

The team will be spearheaded by Olympic champion Caster Semenya and world long-jump champion Luvo Manyonga among others.

The meeting will pit eight of the world’s top athletics nations including the United States, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Poland, China, Germany, France, and Jamaica against each other.

The competition format will feature all field and track events up to and including the 1 500m with each nation competing for the $2 million prize pot over two evening sessions of athletics.

Limited to one man and one woman per event in an all-straight final format there will also be 4x100m and 4x400m relays.

Athletics SA (ASA) chief executive Richard Stander said yesterday the team would be finalised once they have confirmed the availability of each athlete: “The adjusted team will probably be available over the next few days,” Stander said.

Some of the country’s top performers such as Manyonga, Semenya and Akani Simbine may not be available for the World Cup as it clashes with the Rabat Diamond League meeting.

Valuable points will be up for grabs for Semenya and Simbine in Rabat scheduled for July 13 which will count towards the Diamond Trophy race.

Stander said ASA athletes coordinator was speaking to the athletes to gauge their availability for the team event next month.

“We are speaking to individual athletes like Caster, Luvo, and Akani,” Stander said. “Rabat is the only Diamond League meeting in Africa and it is an important event for us on the continent where we want the best athletes to compete there.”

It is otherwise possibly the strongest team ASA could have selected with national 100m and 100m hurdles record-holders Carina Horn and Rikenette Steenkamp included in the team.

South Africa returned from last year’s London World Championships with its best-ever collection of podium finishes at the biennial showpiece to finish third on the medals tables with three gold, silver, and two bronze.

100m: Akani Simbine, Carina Horn

200m: Clarence Munyai, Justine Palframan

400m: Derrick Mokaleng, Justine Palframan

800m: Rynardt van Rensburg, Caster Semenya

1 500m: Jerry Motsau, Caster Semenya

110m hurdles: Antonio Alkana

100m hurdles: Rikenette Steenkamp

400m hurdles: Lindsay Hanekom, Wenda Nel

High Jump: Chris Moleya, Julia du Plessis

Pole Vault: Niel Giliomee, Christy Nell

Long Jump: Luvo Manyonga, Lynique Beneke

Triple Jump: Khotso Mokoena, Patience Ntshingila

Shot Put: Ischke Senekal

Discus Throw: Victor Hogan, Ischke Senekal

Hammer Throw: Tshepang Makhete, Chene Pretorius

Javelin Throw: Phil-Mar van Rensburg, Sunette Viljoen

4x100m Relay Men: Akani Simbine, Roscoe Engel, Simon Magakwe, Henricho Bruintjies, Clarence Munyai. Women: Carina Horn, Tebogo Mamatu, Lente Pieterse, Cassidy Williamson, Tamsin Thomas.

4x400m Relay Men: Derrick Mokaleng, Thapelo Phora, Pieter Conradie, Zakhiti Nene, Lindsey Hanekom. Women: Justine Palframan, Caster Semenya, Wenda Nel, Ariane Nel, Rorisang Ramonye.

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