Another record for Van Niekerk as SA team for World Champs is named | SASCOC - SASCOC

Another record for Van Niekerk as SA team for World Champs is named

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 4: Wayde Van Niekerk  of South Africa wins the men's 400m during the Meeting AREVA of the IAAF Diamond League 2015, held at Stade de France on July 4, 2015 in Saint-Denis nearby Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

By Mark Etheridge

South African track and field’s resurgence entered another realm on Tuesday evening as Wayde van Niekerk raced to a national 200-metre record of 19.94 seconds in Switzerland… and is now the third fastest man in the world over that distance this year.
Only Justin Gatlin (19.57) and Isiah Young (19.93) have gone quicker in the 200m this year and Van Niekerk, who has already broken the national 300 and 400m records this year, has given South Africa another medal chance at next month’s IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China.
The team for that blue riband event was announced on Tuesday and Van Niekerk’s name would have loomed large for the 200/400m double although competition scheduling looks likely to have forced him to concentrate on only one event.
Van Niekerk, who celebrates his 23rd birthday on Wednesday improved his personal best by a whopping 0.25sec and is the first South African to dip under 200m. He’s also in elite company with just three other athletes having dipped under the 20/44sec barriers in the 200 and 400m events.
Before last night Anaso Jobodwana’s 20.04 run in the United States recently. He was also in action at the Spitzen Leichtathletik meeting in Lucerne and clocked 20.12 over the same distance, although he was in action in the A race and Van Niekerk lined up in the B event.
Runner-up to Bloemfontein’s Van Niekerk was Panama’s Alonso Edward (20.03sec) Kenji Fujimitus of Japan third in 20.13.
The team for World Championships is 29-strong, with just five women.
But all the form players are there: Carina Horn who equalled the SA 100m record at the weekend, World Student Games 400m champion Justine Palframan, world rankings javelin leader Sunette Viljoen, hurdler Wenda Nel and marathoner Tanith Maxwell.
Athletes are required to fulfil qualifying requirements by 31 July.

Men: Henricho Bruintjies (100m), Akani Simbine (100m/200m), Anaso Jobodwana (100m/200m), Wayde van Niekerk (400m), Berend Koekemoer (400m), Rynardt van Rensburg (800m), Johan Cronje (1 500m), Stephen Mokoka (10 000m), Antonio Alkana (110m hurdles), LJ van Zyl (400m hurdles), Cornel Fredericks (400m hurdles), Zarck Visser (long jump), Ruswahl Samaai (long jump), Khotso Mokoena (long jump/triple jump), Orazio Cremona (shot put), Jaco Engelbrecht (shot put), Rocco van Rooyen (javelin throw), Willem Coertzen (decathlon), Lebogang Shange (20km walk), Marc Mundell (50km walk), Benedict Moeng (marathon), Desmond Mokgobu (marathon), Lucas Jani (marathon), Sibusiso Nzima (marathon)
Women: Carina Horn (100m), Justine Palframan (200m/400m), Wenda Nel (400m hurdles), Sunette Viljoen (javelin throw), Tanith Maxwell (marathon)


Good luck to all the selected athletes. We will continue to encourage greater participation of women in sport.