Host of the forthcoming Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Senior Championships, South Africa, have selected one of the largest teams ever to represent the country at the event holding in Durban from June 22 to 26.
A total of 96 athletes made up of 52 men and 44 women will aim to continue their winning streak after South Africa topped the medals table at the last edition of the African Championships held in Marrakech, Morocco two years ago.
Reigning World Champion in the men’s 400m, Wayde Van Niekerk will not compete in his specialist event, but will go against the likes of African double sprint Champion, Hua Wilfried Koffi in the men’s 200m.
Meanwhile World Leader in the women’s 800m, Caster Semenya will compete in her main event as well as the 1500m.
Topping the men’s 100m list is World No. 6 Akani Simbine who has a Season’s Best (SB) of 9.96s. He will be joined by Henrico Bruintjies (10.14s) and reigning Commonwealth Youth Games Champion, Tlotliso Gift Leotlela.
Carina Horn (11.18s), Alyssa Conley (11.23s) and Tebogo Mamatu will compete in the women’s event. Both Simbine and Conley will also compete in the 200m, where African Junior Champion in the women’s 100m, Tamzyn Thomas will be in action, alongside Justine Palframan.
World No. 7 in the 110m Hurdles, Antonio Alkana (13.28s) is included in the list, along with Ruan De Vries and Tshepo Lefete.
South Africa is also presenting a strong team in the 400m Hurdles comprising of 2011 World Championships Bronze medallist LJ Van Zyl, Commonwealth Games Champion Cornel Fredericks, and defending champion in the women’s event, Wenda Theron Nel, who is No.4 in the world with 54.61s.
World No.2 in the men’s Long Jump Rushwahl Samaai (8.38m) will pose a formidable threat in his event, even as reigning African and Commonwealth Games Champion in the men’s Triple Jump, Godfrey Khotso Mokoena (16.48m) will be hoping for a successful title defence.
Orazio Cremona (20.05s) will be competing in the men’s Shot put, while Victor Hogan will hoping to make it a second consecutive victory and third overall, in the men’s Discus throw. He is currently the World No.4 with 67.62m.
World Leader and four-time African Champion in the women’s Javelin throw, Sunette Viljoen will be favoured to win her event, coming to the competition with an SB of 65.14m.