Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
23 Mar 2021
1:04 pm

Van Niekerk opens campaign as elite stars return

Wesley Botton

National record holder Akani Simbine headlines the men's 100m race at the first leg of the ASA Athletix Invitational series.

Wayde van Niekerk will return to action in Potchefstroom on Tuesday. Picture: Roger Sedres/Gallo Images

All eyes will be on the country’s fastest athletes on Tuesday, as top-flight domestic track and field action returns from a one-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In Potchefstroom, 400m world record holder Wayde van Niekerk will make his season debut at the ACNW Open meeting.

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After bouncing back last year from a serious knee injury, the versatile sprinter will offer an indication of his form ahead of the Tokyo Olympics when he turns out in the men’s 200m race.

Meanwhile, in Roodepoort, national record holder Akani Simbine headlines the men’s 100m race at the first leg of the ASA Athletix Invitational series.

Akani Simbine

Olympic 100m finalist Akani Simbine. Picture: Getty Images

Simbine, the Commonwealth Games champion, lines up against a strong field including in-form speedster Lux Adams, who clocked a wind-assisted 10.07 earlier this month.

The entry lists in Roodepoort also include Commonwealth 400m champion Isaac Makwala of Botswana, who faces promising teenager Lythe Pillay in the one-lap dash, and African javelin throw record holder Sunette Viljoen, who will be eager to build on her 60.60m season’s best.

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