GLOBAL ELITE TO COMPETE AT SA OPEN

 
Updated: May 5, 2015

Sixteen countries will be represented at the SA Open Championships in Potchefstroom this weekend, including the host nation, with 100 international athletes from as far as Denmark, Finland, Kenya and Nigeria confirming their participation.
The likes of Olympic 800m silver medallist Nijel Amos of Botswana, who won last year’s Commonwealth Games title, and one-lap hurdles stars Kurt Couto of Mozambique, who reached the semifinals of the 2012 London Olympics, will turn out at the annual event on Friday and Saturday.
Couto will be up against Boniface Mucheru of Kenya, a four-time African Championships bronze medallist, in the absence of South Africa’s top 400m hurdlers, with national record holder LJ van Zyl competing at the Great City Games in Manchester this weekend and Commonwealth champion Cornel Fredericks recently ruled out of competition for at least three months with an Achilles injury.
The domestic field includes middle-distance training partners Elroy Gelant and Caster Semenya, as well as 110m hurdler Antonio Alkana, who clocked 13.54 seconds at the SA Senior Championships in Stellenbosch last month, climbing to third place in the SA all-time list in his specialist event.
The women’s 10 000m race has.been cancelled by the organisers due to a lack of interest, while the women’s 3 000m steeplechase event has received only one entry, along with a number of youth disciplines.
“We will decide at the meeting how to deal with these events,” the national federation told its members this week.
The annual meeting will include youth and disability events, with in-form Under-17 speedsters Gift Leotlela and Taylon Bieldt among the elite participants.