Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
14 Aug 2018
2:21 pm

Caster fronts Africa’s challenge at Continental Cup

Wesley Botton

South Africa's representation in the African team for the world event next month is substantial.

South Africa's Caster Semenya (C) runs to qualify for Women's 800m final at the African Senior Athletics Championship at Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State in Midwestern Nigeria, on August 4, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

There were no major surprises on Tuesday when 20 South African athletes were named in the African track and field team for the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava next month.

Among those included in the continental squad, unveiled by the Confederation of African Athletics ahead of the quadrennial track and field championship, were world 800m champion Caster Semenya, Olympic 100m finalist Akani Simbine and long jump star Ruswahl Samaai.

With selectors restricted to the top two athletes in each discipline at the recent African Athletics Championships in Asaba, and one representative per country in each event, long jump world champion Luvo Manyonga and discus thrower Werner Visser both missed out on places in the team after securing silver medals behind compatriots Samaai and Victor Hogan respectively.

Race walker Lebo Shange and decathlete Fredriech Pretorius also earned silver medals at the African Championships, but they too lost out on spots in the team, with their disciplines omitted from the Continental Cup programme.

Receiving some consolation after missing the podium in Asaba, hammer thrower Tshepang Makhethe earned a spot in the squad with Egyptian athletes having swept the podium.

Sprinters Simon Magakwe, Henricho Bruintjies and Emile Erasmus were not selected for individual events but all three men were included in the team for the 4x100m relay.

The African squad will face teams from Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific at the two-day Continental Cup, to be held at Mestsky Stadium on September 8 and 9.

South African athletes in African team

Men: Akani Simbine (100m, 4x100m), Ncinci Titi (200m, 4x100m), Thapelo Phora (400m, 4x400m), Antonio Alkana (110m hurdles), Cornel Fredericks (400m hurdles), Chris Moleya (high jump), Valco van Wyk (pole vault), Ruswahl Samaai (long jump), Khotso Mokoena (triple jump), Victor Hogan (discus throw), Tshepang Makthethe (hammer throw), Phil-Mar van Rensburg (javelin throw), Simon Magakwe (4x100m), Henricho Bruintjies (4x100m), Emile Erasmus (4x100m)

Women: Caster Semenya (400m, 800m, 4x400m), Rikenette Steenkamp (100m hurdles), Zinzi Chabangu (triple jump), Ischke Senekal (shot put, discus throw), Jo-Ane van Dyk (javelin throw)