Wednesday, 12 July 2017 12:50

South Africa Names World Championships Team

A 22-member preliminary team has been announced by Athletics South Africa (ASA) for next month's IAAF World Championships in London, England.

The squad includes all four of the country's Track and Field medallists at last year's Rio Olympic Games in Brazil, with 400m world record holder Wayde van Niekerk, Long Jump athlete Luvo Manyonga, 800m runner Caster Semenya and Javelin Throw’s Sunette Viljoen spearheading the team.

They will be joined by a number of other medal contenders, including in-form sprinter Akani Simbine, Long Jump’s Ruswahl Samaai and Antonio Alkana 110m Hurdles.

Athletes who have not been included in the squad will have until the end of the qualifying window of July

23 to achieve the ASA A-standard in their respective disciplines to book themselves a place in the Final Feam.

The 16th edition of the biennial IAAF World Championships will be held in the English capital from 4-13 August 2017.

“This is the time for athletes who are still searching for a qualifier to show their mettle,” said Aleck Skhosana, the President of ASA.

“Work harder and don’t give up. There is still a chance for anybody who want to represent the Rainbow Nation at this global premier event.”

TEAM

MEN

100m: Akani Simbine, Thando Roto

200m: Akani Simbine, Wayde Van Niekerk, Clarence Munyai, Ncilini Titi

400m: Wayde Van Niekerk

Marathon: April Lusapho EPA, Sibusiso Nzima CGA, Desmond Mokgobo CGA

100m H: Antonio Alkana

Long Jump: Luvo Manyonga, Ruswahl Samaai, Zarck Visser, Khotso Mokoena

Shot Put: Oratio Cremona, Jaco Engelbrecht

Javelin Throw: Rocco Van Rooyen

WOMEN

100m: Carina Horn

800m: Caster Semenya

Marathon: Mapaseka Makhanya, Jenna Challenor

400m H: Wenda Nel

Javelin Throw: Sunette Viljoen


SA Track & Field: Steenkamp races to 4th victory in Europe

The South African 100m-hurdles-champion, Rikenette Steenkamp, raced to her fourth victory in Europe last night when she won in Gothenburg.

As has become the norm this season the wind again was a definite factor. The Tuks/HPC-athlete ran into a headwind of 1.2 meters per second winning in 13.14s at the Folksam Grand Prix-meeting.

Norway’s Isabelle Pedersen who is former youth and junior world champion was second in 13.20s. Pedersen’s season’s best time of 12.75s ranks her 19th on the IAAF-list. Karolina Koleczek (Poland) was third in 13.32s.

Steenkamp competed in five race in Europe winning four of them. The only time she did not win was in Ostrava, but that was her breakthrough race. The Tuks/HPC-athlete finished second in 12.99s dipping under 13 seconds for the first time.

Steenkamp rates last night’s race as one of her best performances.

“I am more than happy with the way my race played out. The weather conditions were cold and windy, and that does influence how you run. We have worked on a few things before the race. One of it was to be faster out of the blocks. It worked as I was off to a good start. The rest of my race was technically sound as well.

"I honestly think I had a better race than what my time indicates but then again I was not chasing a fast time I just wanted to win. It is a confidence booster knowing I am capable of beating athletes who have run sub 13 seconds times.”

Steenkamp will be returning to South Africa to prepare for the World Student Games in Taipei.

At the same meeting, Sibusiso Madikizela ran a time of 8:33.32 in the 3000m.

**Anaso Jobodwana won the 200m B-race in 20.77s at the Spitzen Leichtathletik in Luzern. In the 100m he ran a time of 10.41s. Henricho Bruintjies (Tuks) ran 10.46s.

Rynhardt van Rensburg was sixth in the 800m clocking 1:49.05; Antonio Alkana ran 13.34s in the 110m-hurdles to finish second.

In the 400m-hurdles Constant Pretorius (Tuks) ran a time of 50.58s in his race. LJ van Zyl (Tuks/HPC) ran 49.71s in the A-race and Le Roux Hamman (Tuks) 50.25s.

Dylan Cotter was sixth in the long jump with a best attempt of 6.90m.


SA Track & Field: Kusche off to a winning start in Brussels

George Kusche had a victorious start to his international campaign yesterday when he won the 800m at the Brussels Grand Prix-meeting in a time of 1:47.98.

The 19-year-old Tuks/HPC-athlete, who is not scared to take the racing to his rivals, described his race as an easy day at the office. Henrico Uys, also from South Africa, was fourth in a time of 1:48.67.

Justin Palframan won the 200m in 23.07 while Anuscha Nice finished second in the 800m running a time of 2:05.43.

Wenda Nel (Tuks/HPC) seems to regain her best form. At yesterday’s Diamond League Meeting in Brussels, she finished third in the 400m-hurdles in a time of 54.73.s. Her time is a massive improvement from last Thursday in Budapest when she 55.83s.

Nel was quite relieved afterwards, describing her performance as the confidence booster she needed.

“I needed this as it made me realise why I am running. It is to enjoy it. I am quite excited with how strong I felt towards the end of the race, but it was not a perfect race. There are still things that I need to work on to ensure that I will be at my best for the World Championships in London.”

Janieve Russell (Jamaica) won in 54.02, and Cassandra Tate (USA) was second in 54.59s.

Carina Horn (Tuks/HPC) had reason to be excited as well as disappointed over the weekend when she clocked 11.05s in the 100m at a meeting in Sotteville Les Rouen, France. It would have been a new South African record, but unfortunately, the wind from behind was blowing at 2.6 metres per second which amounted to 0.6/ms above the legal limit.


PokerStars sponsors Usain Bolt in 100m race

(PRESS RELEASE) -- PokerStars, an Amaya Inc. brand, is sponsoring Usain Bolt and the IAAF Monaco Diamond League later this month in Bolt's penultimate competitive race of his career.

The record-breaking sprinter and undisputed fastest man on the planet will take to the 100m track on 21 July at the Stade Louis II Stadium, ahead of his final race at the IAAF World Championships in London. PokerStars will sponsor the race providing bib sponsorship for all eight participants in the men's 100m race.

"PokerStars is proud to support the men's 100m race at the IAAF Monaco Diamond League and further our relationship with Usain Bolt," said Eric Hollreiser, PokerStars Director of Corporate Communications. "Usain is one of the greatest athletes in history, and we look forward to seeing him in what will be an exciting event for sport fans around the world."

The eight-time Olympic gold medallist signed as an ambassador for PokerStars last month, with the aim of promoting the brand and introducing new audiences to the game of poker in marketing campaigns and live appearances.

Bolt's first campaign, #GameOn, is a head-to-head social media competition with Hollywood superstar Kevin Hart. The two celebrities are engaged in a battle of wits to see who has the most maverick mind using the metrics of their social media channels as scorecards, allowing fans to decide who wins each battle.


Farah leads British challenge at world championships

LONDON (Reuters) - Mo Farah will defend his 5,000 and 10,000 metres world titles on home soil next month after being named on Tuesday in Britain's team for the world athletics championships.

The double Olympic champion in both events, who has not been defeated at either distance in a major championship since 2011, is the leading draw among 78 British athletes chosen for the event which begins on Aug. 4.

Long-jumper Greg Rutherford will also defend his crown in the same stadium where he won gold at the London 2012 Olympics, despite an ankle injury suffered last month.

Laura Muir will hope to build on her double success at the European indoor championships in the 1,500 and 3,000 metres. Promising sprinter Adam Gemili misses out on the 200 metres and will feature only in the 4x100m relay squad.

Britain won seven medals in athletics at the Olympics in Rio last year, the same number they won at the world championships in Beijing in 2015.

"This feels bigger for us than Rio," said Neil Black, the performance director for British Athletics.

"We've selected some incredibly talented athletes, and in many events there have been some close calls. It's now up to them to grasp this opportunity and produce performances that will make the whole nation proud."

(Reporting by Christian Radnedge, editing by Ed Osmond)