Cape Town - Six South
African athletes will carry the flag on Saturday night when the IAAF Diamond League series makes its seventh stop
of the season in Paris, France.
Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya, who leads the 2018 Diamond League
campaign in the women's two-lap event, will again turn out as the firm
favourite over her best distance. She faces a full-strength onslaught, however, with perennial bridesmaid
Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and American record holder Ajee Wilson leading
In the 100m 'A' men's race, national record holder Akani Simbine will be
eager to build on his good form after dipping under 10 seconds for the first
time this year when he clocked 9.98 in Madrid last week. Simbine enters the blocks against the
likes of Jamaican powerhouse Yohan Blake and American rocket Mike Rodgers.
record holder, Antonio Alkana, also faces a quality field in the 110m men's hurdles
event, with the Western Cape star needing to progress through a first round heat to qualify for the final.
The line-up in
the short dash over the barriers features five men who have dipped under 13
seconds in their careers, spearheaded by world record holder Aries Merritt of
the United States, French favourite Pascal Martinot-Lagarde and former world
champion Sergey Shubenkov of Russia, competing as an authorised neutral
While the 200m for men battle does not form part of the official
Diamond League series, 21-year-old national champion Luxolo Adams will be
aiming for some big scalps when he lines up alongside former European champion
Churandy Martina of the Netherlands, Olympic bronze medallist Christophe
Lemaitre of France and former World Championships silver medallist Alonso
Edward of Panama.
Earlier in the
programme, sub-10 sprinters Henricho Bruintjies and Thando Roto will turn out
in the men's 100m 'B' race.
Schedule of SA
Antonio Alkana (110m hurdles heats men)
Henricho Bruintjies, Thando Roto (100m 'B' men)
Luxolo Adams (200m men)
Antonio Alkana (110m hurdles men)
Caster Semenya (800m women)
21:52 - Akani
Simbine (100m 'A', men)