Athletics 13.6.2018 03:09 pm

Imposing SA team assembled for Athletics World Cup

Caster Semenya. Photo: Gallo Images.

Caster Semenya. Photo: Gallo Images.

For once, the selection process was simple and pragmatic.

A 39-member team has been named by Athletics SA for the inaugural edition of the Athletics World Cup to be held in London, England on July 14 and 15.

With one athlete in each discipline set to represent each of the eight competing nations at the event, the 2018 domestic ranking lists were utilised to select the SA team.

The team includes six of the seven athletes who earned Track and Field medals at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia earlier this season, 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, with Simbine holding a higher ranking, Commonwealth medallist Henricho Bruintjies has been included in the 4x100m Men Relay Team.

Other athletes who could play key roles in the chase for 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.

South Africa will compete against 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 inaugural World Cup 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.”

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