South Africa have named a strong preliminary team for the CAA African Championships taking place in Nigeria in August, including Olympic and world champion runner Caster Semenya and long jump star Luvo Manyonga.
The Confederation of African Athletics event is the continental showpiece for senior athletics, and is held every two years. It will serve as a qualifying event for the 2019 IAAF World Championships, and takes place from Aug. 1-5 in Lagos.
Semenya, currently embroiled in controversy over a new IAAF rule regarding testosterone levels in women, is slated to compete in the 400m, 800m, and 1500m events.
None will be available to her if she loses her coming case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in protest of the ruling, and she would be forced to run in the 5000m and 10,000m events as of November.
South Africa, which sits third on the overall medal table behind Nigeria and Kenya, will also be represented by Manyonga, the current Commonwealth Games and world long jump champion, and Olympian Ruswahl Samaai.
Elsewhere on the track, 100m star Akani Simbine, 200m favourites Anaso Jobodwana and Clarence Munyai (the African Under-20 champion and current national record holder in the 200m), and Wenda Nel (400m hurdles) are set to take part.
The relay races are especially important for the team, as noted by Athletics South Africa: "It is in particular important for the relay teams to run times that will position them in the top 16 in the world as only the top 16 teams are invited to the 2019 IAAF World Senior Championships."
Of special interest is the women's 4x400m team, comprising four of Justine Palframan, Nel, Semenya, Zeney van der Walt, and Airane Nel, while the 100m men's relay team will feature Simbine, Munyai, and Jobodwana.