IAAF Athletics World Cup  Preview

Hero Image of Athletics World Cup. Photo from: https://www.athleticsworldcup.org/

 

 

While the IAAF World U20 Championships is reaching its business end, South Africa’s senior team will do battle at the inaugural Athletics World Cup, in London, in the United Kingdom, that kicks off today July 14.

The two-day event features the top eight ranked track and field countries in the world. Rankings were determined by team performance at last year’s IAAF World Senior Championships, in London.

The Championships include hosts Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the USA, Jamaica, South Africa, France, Germany, Poland and China who will all look to be crowned champions of the inaugural event.

Each country can only enter one athlete (male and female) per event, from the 100m sprints to the 1500m event, all field events and the 4x100m and 4x400m for men and women.

Team South Africa will be led by the national 200m champion Luxolo Adams whose consistency throughout the 2018 track and field season did not go unnoticed following his inclusion in the team. If winning the national title was not enough, five days later Adams ran a personal best of 21.01 seconds to win the gold medal, at the ASA Athletix Grand Series meet, in Paarl. Adams continued his good form Europe, with a best time of 20.21 seconds, in the men’s 200m event, at the IAAF Diamond League meet, in Paris, in France, last month.

Paarl-born Luvo Manyonga will look to pick up his second global outdoor title. This comes after he won the men’s long jump event at the IAAF World Senior Championships, in London, last year. Manyonga who has a personal best of 8.65m will get great competition from China’s Jianan Wang and the USA’s Jeff Henderson who has jumped 8.47m and 8.44m this season.

While the 100m Commonwealth Games champion Akani Simbine is recovering from injury, Western Province Athletics duo Simon Magakwe or Roscoe Engel will get the nod to represent SA in the 100m sprint event as they both form part of the 4x100m relay team.

Caster Semenya is also unavailable after competing at the IAAF Diamond League meet, where she broke the SA 1000m record, clocking 2min31.01sec to clinch the gold medal, in Rabat, in Morocco, yesterday.  Her spot in the 800m will be taken by Gena Lofstrand and in the 1500m by Carina Viljoen.

Despite not going to the Commonwealth Games due to injury, Athletics Gauteng North’s Carina Horn bounced back in fine style clocking 10.98 seconds shattering her SA 100m record, at the IAAF Diamond League meet, in Doha, in Qatar, in May.  In her most recent outings, Horn finished fourth and second in the women’s 100m sprints, clocking 11.23 and 11.13 seconds at the Montreuil Meeting Elite and Luzern Spitzen Leichtathletik, in France and Switzerland.

Four-time national 100m hurdles champion Rikenette Steenkamp will go into the Championships full of confidence after breaking Corien Botha’s 21-year-old SA record of 12.94 seconds last month. This comes after she ran 12.91 seconds in the women’s 100m hurdles event, at the Memorial Josefa Odlozila Meet, in Prague, in Czech Republic, last month.  Earlier this month, Steenkamp shattered her own 100m hurdles record, clocking 12.81 seconds, at the La Chaux-de-Fonds meet, in Switzerland.

“I am excited to be a part of the inaugural Athletics World Cup and to run against the best athletes in the world. Hurdles can be unpredictable, so tomorrow I will be focusing on my execution.  To be the SA record holder in the women’s 100m hurdles has given me great confidence moving forward,” said Steenkamp.

 

Written by Keagan Mitchell