Ready, set, go SA champs

2014-04-06 14:00

The countdown to the SA Senior Track and Field Championships that take place at the University of ­Pretoria’s Tuks Athletics Stadium on Friday and Saturday has begun.

It will be the first time since 1998 the national champs are held inland, as all the previous editions have been in ­coastal cities.

The two-day meeting will be more than just about bragging rights as ­athletes will need to set the bar higher to be considered for selection for the continental and international events ­later this year.

The events are the ­Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, ­Scotland (July 23-August 3), the African Senior Championships in Marrakech, Morocco (August 10-14), and the IAAF ­Intercontinental Cup, also in Morocco (September 13-14).

The ongoing Varsity Athletics series has already offered a sneak preview of the emerging talent such as University of Johannesburg rising star Monique Stander (19), who won the 800m in a time of 2:05 in the opening meeting of the Varsity Athletics in Port Elizabeth last week.

Gena Lofstrand (17) of KZN Athletics is the defending national 800m champion.

The SA Champs will also see the return of seasoned campaigners, former 800m champion Caster Semenya and 2011 400m winner Ofentse Mogawane.

The two are part of an all-conquering Tuks Athletics Club team that is hoping to make use of home advantage.

In the sprints, Simon Magakwe will hog the headlines as he bids for another double victory in the 100m and 200m. Magakwe opened his season with a 10.21 in the 100m and set a meeting record of 20.58 (200m) at the Perth Track Classic in Australia in February.

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