South Africa's Top Athletes Set Sights On Olympics At National Championships

analysis

The Tokyo Olympics are less than 100 days away, and Covid-19 has slowed the preparations for South Africa's hopefuls at the quadrennial showpiece. They were granted a chance to really push themselves at the national championships over the past week.

A week on from Swimming South Africa holding its national championships behind closed doors, Athletics South Africa followed suit in Tshwane this weekend. Star athletes such as Wayde van Niekerk, Caster Semenya and Akani Simbine showcased their skills during the event.

Van Niekerk is continuing his comeback after returning from a potentially career-ending injury. There were fears that the 400m Olympic champion and world record holder would not be present at the University of Pretoria event. He was scheduled to travel to the US to begin his training for the Tokyo Games, but hiccups with his visa and some Covid-19 restrictions put off his departure.

The 28-year-old made the most of the delay as he comfortably won the men's 200m crown in 20.38 seconds.

He skipped the 400m race, won by KwaZulu-Natal's Zakithi Nene in 45.54 seconds. Deline Mpiti conquered the women's version in 52.78 seconds

On the advice of his coaching team, Van Niekerk has foregone competing in his...

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