Athletics

Semenya, Manyonga lead SA Commonwealth charge

Caster Semenya (AP)
Caster Semenya (AP)

Cape Town - A total of 23 athletes have been included in South Africa's preliminary team for the Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia in April next year. 

The team, consisting of 18 men and five women, will be submitted to SASCOC on January 4, 2018 and any athletes who achieve the qualifying standards before the final team announcement will also be submitted for consideration. 

Olympic hero and world record holder in the 400m, Wayde van Niekerk, will not feature at the Games as he continues his recovery from a leg injury he picked up while playing in a celebrity tag rugby match in Cape Town in October.

Spearheaded by 800m title holder Caster Semenya and long jump world champion Luvo Manyonga, who both won senior world titles this year, the team also features the likes of former Commonwealth champions LJ van Zyl (400m Hurdles) and Sunette Viljoen (javelin), and IAAF World Championships long jump bronze medallist Ruswahl Samaai, 17-year-old high jump world youth champion Breyton Poole and nine SA senior record holders. 

The athletes in the final team will have three opportunities to sharpen up during the lucrative domestic Athletix Grand Prix series in March, in the build-up to the Games.

Team SA Commonwealth Games preliminary squad:

Men

Akani Simbine (100m and 200m), Anaso Jobodwana, Thando Roto (both 100m), Luxolo Adams (200m), Stephen Mokoka (10 000m), Antonio Alkana (110m hurdles), Constant Pretorius, LJ van Zyl (both 400m hurdles), Lebogang Shange, Wayne Snyman (both 20km race walk), Breyton Poole (high jump), Luvo Manyonga, Ruswahl Samaai (both long jump), Orazio Cremona, Jaco Engelbrecht (shot put), Victor Hogan (discus), Tshepang Makhete (hammer throw), Phil-Mar van Rensburg (javelin)

Women

Carina Horn (100m), Justine Palframan (200m), Caster Semenya (800m and 1 500m), Wenda Nel (400m hurdles), Sunette Viljoen (javelin) 

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