Athletics SA announce 127-athlete squad for African champs


File: South Africa's Luvo Manyonga reacts during the athletics men's long jump final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 11, 2018.

JOHANNESBURG - A 127-member national preparation squad has been announced by Athletics SA for the 2018 CAA African Senior Championships in Asaba, Nigeria from August 1 to 5.

The squad features a number of athletes who have already won medals at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, including sprinters Akani Simbine and Henricho Bruintjies, Long Jump stars Luvo Manyonga and Ruswahl Samaai, middle-distance runner Caster Semenya, hurdler Wenda Nel and Javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen.

The biennial continental championships will be another opportunity for South Africa to defend its continental crown won in 2016 in Durban with a total of 33 medals, 16 of them in gold.

Kenya followed in second position with 24 total, with eight in gold. This year’s hosts, Nigeria ended with four gold medals from a total of 16.

South Africa will use the event as another stepping stone to provide athletes with crucial experience in the build-up to next year&39;s IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

While the squad includes up to seven athletes in individual disciplines, it will be reduced closer to the event, as only three athletes are allowed per participating nation in each discipline.