A 127-member national preparation squad has been announced by Athletics South Africa for the 2018 CAA African Senior Championships in Asaba, Nigeria between 1-5 August.
The squad features a number of athletes who have already won medals at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, including sprinters Akani Simbine and Henricho Bruintjies, Long Jump stars Luvo Manyonga and Ruswahl Samaai, middle-distance star Caster Semenya, hurdler Wenda Nel and Javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen.
The biennial continental championships will be another opportunity for South Africa to defend its continental crown won in 2016 in Durban with a total of 33 medals, 16 of them in gold.
Kenya followed in second position with 24 total, with eight in gold. This year’s hosts, Nigeria ended with four gold medals from a total of 16.
South Africa will utilise as another stepping stone to provide athletes with crucial experience in the build-up to next year's IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar and the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
While the squad includes up to seven athletes in individual disciplines, it will be reduced closer to the event, as only three athletes are allowed per participating nation in each discipline.
“This is the squad that is meant to be finalised in due course in order to produce a best and strong team that will defend the titles won in Morocco in 2014 and Durban in 2016.
The 2018 CAA Africa Senior Championships will be held in Asaba, Nigeria, from 1-5 August.