The 2017 IAAF World Championships kicks off in London in three weeks and we have decided to select Backtrack Sports’ team for these championships. We are open for feedback and discussions. See table below:

Akani Simbine, Thando Roto, Henricho Bruintjies (Emile Erasmus on reserve) 100m Carina Horn
Wayde v Niekerk, Akani Simbine, Clarence Munyai (Ncincilili Titi on reserve) 200m Alyssa Conley, Justine Palframan
Wayde van Niekerk, Pieter Conradie, Thapelo Phora 400m Caster Semenya
Rynardt v Rensburg 800m Caster Semenya, Gena Lofstrand
3000m SC
5000m Dominique Scott
Antonio Alkana, Tian Smit 110mh/100mh Rikenette Steenkamp
Cornel Fredericks, LJ van Zyl, Le Roux Hamman, Constant Pretorius 400mh Wenda Nel
High Jump
Pole Vault
Luvo Manyonga, Ruswahl Samaai, Zarck Visser, Khotso Mokoena Long Jump Lynique Prinsloo
Triple Jump
Orazio Cremona, Jaco Engelbrecht Shot Put
Discus Throw
Hammer Throw
Rocco van Rooyen Javelin Throw Sunette Viljoen
Lebogang Shange, Wayne Snyman 20km Race Walk Anel Oosthuizen
Freidrich Pretorius Deca/Heptathlon
50km Race Walk
Akani, Wayde, Thando, Henricho and Emile Erasmus 4 x 100m
Pieter Conradie, Thapelo Phora, Ranti Dikgale, LJ van Zyl/Cornel Fredericks 4 x 400m


With South Africa’s sprinting on an all-time high, six athletes achieved the IAAF qualification criteria for the men’s 100m and seven in the men’s 200m. 400m Hurdle specialists LJ van Zyl, Cornel Fredericks and Leroux Hamman also dipped under the IAAF standard whilst the long jumpers Luvo Manyonga, Ruswahl Samaai, Khotso Mokoena and Zarck Visser not only achieved the qualification standard, they set a new standard!

Gena Lofstrand and Lynique Prinsloo are still to meet the needed criteria and by the look of things, they are getting closer at every competition. Zarck Visser, Justine Palframan, Rikenette Steenkamp, Henricho Bruintjies, Emile Erasmus and Thapelo Phora only burst into form during the latter stages of the year and we believe the same will happen to the abovementioned athletes.


The current rankings show that team SA can bring back ten medals. Akani Simbine in the men’s 100m, Wayde and Akani in the men’s 200m, Van Niekerk in the men’s 400m, Antonio Alkana in the men’s 100mh and Caster Semenya in the women’s 800m. Luvo Manyonga, Ruswahl Samaai and Sunette Viljoen, on the other hand, are in favoured positions to bag medals on the field. If or when they get an opportunity to qualify, the South African men’s 4 x 100m relay team could bag a medal. Three South Africans have dipped under 10 seconds this season and whilst top Jamaican and American sprinters Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin are struggling to find form, this would have been the perfect opportunity for the country to make its mark as the next sprinting powerhouse of the world. Nonetheless, let’s hope and believe our athletes get an opportunity to qualify.

Note: this is Backtrack Sports’ team and not the federation’s team. The team is still to be finalised and we will keep you updated. This is merely a team we would like to see representing South Africa at the World Championships in London.


Team compiled by Backtrack Sports

Photo by BackpagePix

Written by Reggie Hufkie