Track and field Speed Series launched by ASA

Updated: February 17, 2017

Ahead of two international championships taking place in the first half of the 2017 season, Athletics South Africa (ASA) has released provisional programmes for the local track and field campaign, which will focus on giving distance runners and relay athletes opportunities to prepare.
With the national cross country trials having taken place last month, the federation announced on Friday it would host a men’s 10 000m race and a women’s 5 000m contest during the first leg of the ASA Speed Series in Durban on February 28, in the build-up to the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala on March 26.
The elite national season opener would also include a 100m race for men, a 200m dash for women, and 400m contests for men and women, with a men’s 1 500m race on the pre-programme.
In March, three more ASA Speed Series meetings would focus on preparing athletes for the IAAF World Relays, scheduled to take place in Bahamas between April 22-23.
All track and field meetings in the local campaign would also include other disciplines, though the ASA Speed Series events would all have relay races on the schedules.
Meanwhile, the prize money and incentive structure for the domestic track and field season was also revealed by the national federation.
At the ASA Speed Series events in Durban later this month, Bloemfontein on March 8, Potchefstroom on March 15 and Germiston on March 22, relay teams would earn R8 000 (first), R6 000 (second) and R4 000 (third).
The podium finishers in individual events would receive R5 000 (first), R3 000 (second) and R1 000 (third), and all qualifiers for the IAAF World Championships in London in August would take home an additional R5 000.  
“We recently introduced a new four-year plan in the build-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and World Relays will play important roles in the early stages of that process,” said ASA president Aleck Skhosana.
“We don’t want to take passengers to major international championships, and by ensuring there are sufficient opportunities for them to prepare, we believe we can put together our strongest possible teams to represent our nation at these events.”