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SA athletics already have Tokyo 2020 on their mind

Following the golden success of South African athletics at the Rio Olympics last year Athletics South Africa has named a 39-strong national senior preparation squad to assist athletes in the build-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Spearheaded by Rio gold medallists Wayde van Niekerk and Caster Semanya, the squad is compiled of Tier 1 athletes who achieved top-20 world rankings last year and Tier 2 athletes who met IAAF World Championships qualifying standards in the 2016 campaign.

The progress of athletes in the preparation squad will be monitored at the SA Senior Championships in Potchefstroom in April, after which the squad will be updated.

‘We mean serious business here and we are focussed,’ said Athletics SA president Aleck Skhosana. ‘We are now ranked fifth in the world after achieving four medals at the Rio Olympics, and in order to improve we need to work in longer cycles and plan ahead.’

‘This squad is the next step as part of the new four-year cycle, and we call on all athletes in the squad to work with ASA in preparation for major events, in order for South Africa to continue climbing the international rankings.’

The full squad is as follows: Wayde van Niekerk, Akani Simbine, Ruswahl Samaai, Luvo Manyonga, Sunette Viljoen, Caster Semenya, Elroy Gelant, Stefan Brits, Antonio Alkana, Wenda Nel, LJ van Zyl, Lynique Prinsloo, Henricho Bruintjies, Clarence Munyai, Gift Leotlela, Jacob Rozani, Rynardt van Rensburg, Stephen Mokoka, Lindsay Hanekom, Dylon Cotter, Lebogang Shange, Wayne Snyman, Marc Mundell, Carina Horn, Alyssa Conley, Dominique Scott, Anel Oosthuizen, Lusapho April, Sibusiso Nzima, Desmond Mokgobo, Benedict Moeng, Tumelo Motlagale, Xolia Tyali, Lebo Phalula, Lebogang Phalula, Mapaseka Makanya


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