ATHLETICS NEWS - Germiston plays host to the 2019 Sizwe Medical Fund & 3SixtyLife ASA Senior Track & Field and Combined Events Championships from 25 – 27 April and this year the National Championships have particular meaning, as any athlete who wants to represent the country at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar on 28 Sep – 6 October, needs to be at the national show piece.
The Sizwe Medical Fund & 3SixtyLife ASA Senior Track & Field and Combined Events Championships have a history of delivering scintillating duels from the heydays of Hezekiel Sepeng, Hendrick Ramaala and Llewellyn Herbert in the late 90’s to the more recent match ups of Akani Simbine, Wayde van Niekerk and Clarence Munyai in the sprints, the regal and majestic striding of Caster Semenya and the tussle of the long jumpers, Luvo Manyonga and Ruswahl Samaai.
The Championships is also expected to be the final time that South Africans will be able to witness these stars in action on home soil. The current crop of athletes love to put on a show, so expect to be wooed.
Sepeng started his journey to stardom at the 1996 SA Championships in Cape Town when he won the national 800m and would go on that year to win the silver medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Three years later, in one of the closest finishes in an 800m, Sepeng was out dipped on the line by then world record holder, Wilson Kipketer.
“When I won that title in 1996, it set me on my international career. That is why the Sizwe Medical Fund & 3SixtyLife ASA Senior Track & Field and Combined Events Championships will always be important to me,” said Sepeng, who is now the ASA High Performance Manager. “The National Championships are important, not only as a statement of intent by our athletes about their goals for Doha, but also because this is where we show the country how strong South Africa is as an athletics nation. And this is also where the next generation gets to compete against our current stars, which will hopefully inspire them to great things.”