South African Athletics

SA sprinters snub Bahamas for SA Champs

2017-04-20 11:20
Akani Simbine (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - South Africa star sprinters have elected to opt out of the World Relays in the Bahamas to participate in the SA senior national championships this weekend.

Some of the star athletes participating in the Bahamas include Justin Gatlin, Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell and Andre De Grasse as they prepare for the World Championships in London later this year.

Athletics South Africa (ASA) scheduled the SA Championships the same weekend as the IAAF's World Relay Championship in the Bahamas.

Earlier this year Sport24 reported that the athletics federation revealed a four-year plan in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

At last year's Rio Olympic Games, the South African athletic team did not partake in any track and field relay events - as they did not qualify.

This led to ASA to use the World Relay Championships to monitor the progress of the national relay team for 2020.

The nationals relay team includes Olympic gold medallist Wayde van Niekerk and Caster Semenya, Olympians Akani Simbine, Henricho Bruintjies, Gift Leotlela and Anaso Jobodwana.

According to the Sunday Times, ASA submitted a team for the World Relays, but it has not been approved and it seems unlikely that any SA team will be sent to the Caribbean.

It was also reported that the country's national broadcaster the SABC will not be live broadcasting the athletics event, but instead there will be live streaming and delayed television broadcasts on SABC 2 on both days.

The hashtag #FillUpPotch dominated social media this week in South Africa, as athletes' encouraged fans to come out and support the event on Friday and Saturday.

Some of the epic battles include the title for the fastest man in South Africa, as Simbine will line up against Van Niekerk, Jobodwana and Leotlela in the 100m and 200m events.

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