Records will fly in Potch at SA Championships

Letitia Janse van Vuuren hit a throw of 62.37 metres in the women's hammer throw.
Letitia Janse van Vuuren will be one to keep an eye on in the women's hammer throw event.

Records are meant to be broken and, this weekend, Potchefstroom’s Puk McArthur Stadium could bear witness to one of the greatest SA National Senior Athletics Championships in recent history.
From Friday, 21 April to Saturday 22 April, Athletics Central North West (ACNW) will host the country’s top athletes, who will want to show not only the country but the world what they are made of. Expect the likes of Olympic champions, Wayde van Niekerk, Caster Semenya, Luvo Manyonga and Sunette Viljoen to once again be the big stars of the show when they compete in SA’s most prestigious athletics championships.

Akani Simbine will look to smash his own personal best in the 100 metres.

Akani Simbine will look to smash his own personal best in the 100 metres.

According to the Athletics South Africa’s (ASA) Top 10 rankings, a number of athletes are worth keeping an eye on. Firstly, the 100 m and 200 m men’s races will definitely be a festival of speed.

The pacy trio of Akani Simbine, Thando Roto and Gift Leotleta will be the ones to watch in this race, with Simbine (9.92) and Roto (9.95) going under 10 seconds this year. Simbine is also the current SA record holder with 9.89 metres. With the likes of Van Niekerk and Anaso Jobodwana joining the party, only fireworks can be expected in this 100-metre dream race. The 200-metre race will also be a close event with Clarence Munyai being the likeliest challenger to Simbine’s throne.

ACNW athletes to keep an eye on will firstly be new hammer throw sensation, Letitia Janse van Vuuren, who broke the SA record with a 63.82-metre distance recently. North West’s middle and long distance athletes will also be the frontrunners this weekend with Jerry Motsau, Rantso Makopane and Henco Uys looking to set new benchmarks.

ACNW will also be well represented in the high jump with both Mpho Links (2.20 metres) and Julia du Plessis (1.80 metres) looking to claim gold in the men’s and women’s events respectively. Also, look out for a highly contested men’s javelin throw event as Chad Herman and Johan Grobler will want to dethrone SA’s leading thrower, Rocco van Rooyen who has the current best distance of 84.09 this year.
A host of new achievements and accolades awaits South Africa’s sizzling new generation of athletics talent – the one big question is who will seize the moment with golden glory hanging from their necks.

*The first item will start at 09:30 on Friday with the action coming to a close at 20:00. On Saturday, the action will start early from 07:00 until 19:00 with the 4×400-metre relay items closing off this year’s athletics spectacle.
Entrance for spectators will be R50.

Schedule for Day 1 and 2 can be found here:

Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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