Caster holding aloft the South African flag in one of her outings in 2016

65 athletes have been named on South Africa’s Preliminary List ahead of the 2018 African Senior Championships billed to hold in Asaba in Delta State, Nigeria, from August 1st to 5th.

The list, which was released by Athletics South Africa (ASA) on Thursday, comprises of 39 men and 26 women, including the likes of 2017 World Championships GOLD medallists in the men’s Long Jump and women’s 800m respectively, Luvo Manyonga and Caster Semenya, as well as Ruswahl Samaai who won a Bronze medal in the men’s Long Jump at London 2017.

Former Commonwealth Games Champion Khotso Mokoena, and Sunette Viljoen who is a five-time African Champion, two-time Commonwealth Games Champion and Rio 2016 Silver medallist, are also included in the team.

According to ASA, the African Championships will be used to prepare its teams for the 2019 IAAF World Senior Championships, and other major global events over the next few seasons, as this national Preliminary Team consists of a healthy blend of youth and experience.

Reigning Commonwealth Games GOLD medallist Akani Simbine, Roscoe Engel and Simon Magakwe have been listed for the men’s 100m, while World Leader Clarence Munyai, Luxolo Adams and Anaso Jobodwana are expected to compete in the 200m.

National Record holder Carina Horn, Tebogo Mamathu and Cassidy Williamson will compete in the women’s 100m, as Justine Palframan and Tamzin Thomas do same in the 200m. Semenya will do the 800m/1500m where she struck double GOLD at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. She will also race in the women’s 4x400m relay like she did in Durban two years ago to inspire the South African team to GOLD ahead of Nigeria.

Defending Champions in the 110m Hurdles and women’s 400m Hurdles, Antonio Alkana and Wenda Nel, have been named on the team, as well as World U-18 Champion in the men’s High Jump Breyton Poole.

The final national team will be announced in July closer to the event.

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games and IAAF World Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.

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