Updated: March 8, 2016


Cash incentives for record performances and podium places will be on offer for athletes during the 2016 season, Athletics South Africa has confirmed.
The federation said in a statement this week it would pay R25 000 for a senior national record, but only the athlete holding the standing mark at the end of the campaign would qualify for the cash prize. This meant if an athlete broke a record during the season, and another SA athlete bettered the mark in the same discipline later in the year, only the second individual would receive a cheque.
With the same rules applying, ASA also revealed it would offer R10 000 for a national junior record and R5 000 for a youth mark.
The federation’s president, Aleck Skhosana, had said in January that coaches whose athletes broke records would also receive R5 000, though this was not confirmed in the statement this week.
Meanwhile, the top three finishers in each discipline during the newly launched ASA Nite Series, set to kick off with the opening leg in Pretoria on Tuesday evening, would also receive monetary rewards.
Winners would take home R5 000 each, with second-placed athletes receiving R3 500 and those who finished third earning R2 000.
Additionally, the IAAF scoring tables would be used to determine the best athletes across all disciplines at each of the four meetings, with the top five performers receiving graded incentives from R5 000 to R1 000.
“We are excited that we are managing to continue with this high standard event even though it is not sponsored,” Skhosana said.
A packed field of elite national athletes, rising young stars and foreign contenders are expected to light up Pilditch Stadium at the inaugural Nite Series meeting in the capital city.
The line-up for the opening leg includes six SA senior record holders – Akani Simbine (100m), LJ van Zyl (400m hurdles), Khotso Mokoena (triple jump), Stephen Mokoka (5 000m), Carina Horn (100m) and Sunette Viljoen (javelin throw).
While Simbine, Mokoena, Horn and Viljoen will turn out in their specialist events, Van Zyl has been confirmed in the field for the men’s flat 400m sprint and Mokoka is set to compete in the 3 000m race.
The foreign contingent includes the likes of World Championships 400m finalist Isaac Makwala, who goes in the 200m race, World Student Games 400m silver medallist Leaname Maotoanong and five-time African high jump champion Kabelo Kgosiemang, all from Botswana, as well as African Championships triple jump bronze medallist Roger Haitengi of Namibia.
Aside from the host nation, six countries will be represented at the meeting, with entrants from Belgium, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Mauritius and Swaziland adding international flavour to the event.
The two-hour Pretoria meeting will start at 6pm.

* See our Flash News section for the latest entry lists