(from left to right): Clarence Munyai, Kyle Whitehall (Liquid Telecom South Africa Chief Executive Officer), Joshua Cheptegei, Aleck Skhosana (the president of Athletics South Africa), Anaso Jobodwana and Michael Meyer (Managing Director of Stillwater Sports). Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg

A star-studded line-up will be presented at the first Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Meeting at the Ruimsig stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday, 1 March 2018.

Among the highlights of the 1st Athletix Grand Prix Series meeting are the 200m Men, 400m Men, 1500m Men, High Jump, 400m Women and 800m Women.

The men's 200m sees former South African record-holder Anaso Jobodwana line up against America’s 2014 World Junior champion in the 200m, Trentavis Friday, World Junior record holder in the 300m Clarence Munyai and Botswana’s national 200m record holder Isaac Makwala.

Both Jobodwana and Munyai have put in class performances this past weekend at the AGN Provincial Championships.

Munyai lowered his 100m personal best from 10.20 to 10.10, while Jobodwana clocked a wind assisted 10.07. Both are itching to race each other. Throw in Makwala, who ran 19.77 in Madrid in 2017, and you have the making of a quality 200m race.

Makwala has a tough day as he lines up in the 400m some 30 minutes prior to the 200m. How he recovers from the 400m will be of huge interest to the athletes in the 200m.

Thapelo Phora will be looking forward to taking on the Botswana athlete in the 400m after showing early season form. Phora clocked 45.92 on Saturday 24 February at the Gauteng North Championships.

Joshua Cheptegei, the World Championships 10,000m silver medalist returns to South Africa to headline the 1500m, but he may find the going hard against a hungry SA contingent including Jerry Motsau, Folavio Sehole, national champion Dumisang Hlaselo and rising star Ryan Mphahlele.

Cheptegei’s training partner, Abel Sikowo and country man Ronald Musagala are also in the field.

World Youth champion, Breyton Poole is the star attraction in the High Jump. He cleared 2.24m for the world title in 2017 and in November improved his best to 2.25m.

Poole faces Mpho Links, the 2017 SA University champion who has a best of 2.23m and Chris Moleya, the 2017 South African champion who also boasts a best of 2.25m.

On the women’s front, expect a tight duel in the 800m between the two Ugandan’s Winnie Nanyondo and Halimah Nakaayi who have both gone under 2 minutes.

Nanyondo holds the edge with her 1:58.63 run in 2014 to Nakaayi’s 1:59.78 she ran in the 2016 Rio Olympics. While there is no Caster Semenya in the 800m, South African supporters will be looking to hard front-running Gena Lofstrand to give the Ugandans a challenge.

The women's 400m promises to be a match-up between Botswana’s Amantle Montsho, Goitseone Seleka and Christine Botlogetswe and South Africa’s Justine Palframan, 400m hurdler, Wenda Nel and exciting youth prospect Amy Naude.

Montsho is the 2011 world champion and 2013 World Championship silver medalist and on paper is the favorite to win the one lapper.

EVENT INFORMATION: Athletix Grand Prix Series

Dates and Venues:

Thursday, 01 March 2018
Ruimsig Stadium, Johannesburg
Thursday, 08 March 2018
Bestmed Tuks Stadium, Tshwane
Thursday, 22 March 2018
Dal Josafat Stadium, Paarl

Ticket Prices:

Main Pavilion Tickets
Standard Ticket:  R 100  (US$ 8.3) each
Children under 16 years of age: R 50 (US$ 4.2) each

Open Stand/Grass Banks
Standard Ticket: R 50 (US$ 4.2) each
Children under 16 years of age: R 50 (US$ 4.2) each

Online ticket sales will open on Wednesday, 14 February 2018. Tickets can also be purchased at the gates of each event.

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