IN-SITE ATHLETES READY TO SHINE AGAINST THE WORLD’S BEST

Some of In-Site Athlete Management’s top athletes will turn out in London, England this weekend as they join the rest of the South African team in action against seven other countries at the inaugural Athletics World Cup, while two other talented young stars will chase world junior titles in Tampere, Finland.

At the World Cup, to be held on Saturday and Sunday, sub-11 sprinter Carina Horn will captain the national squad when she lines up in the women’s 100m race and the 4x100m relay events.

In other women’s disciplines, former World Student Games champion Justine Palframan will have a busy weekend, turning out in the 200m, 400m and 4x400m relay contests, while Gena Lofstrand goes in the 800m race, Julia du Plessis turns out in the high jump and Tamzin Thomas will give the 4x100m relay team a boost.

Among the men, African champion Antonio Alkana lines up in the 110m hurdles race as well as the 4x100m relay, resurgent athlete Lindsay Hanekom is in the 400m hurdles event and the 4x400m relay, and Chris Moleya competes in the high jump.

While sprinter Akani Simbine was included in the World Cup team, and had been scheduled to compete at the Diamond League meeting in Rabat on Friday evening, he was forced to withdraw after picking up an injury niggle.

Meanwhile, at the World U-20 Championships in Tampere, Zeney van der Walt is among the favourites in the women’s 400m hurdles final on Friday night as she looks to add the global junior title to the world youth crown she won in Nairobi last year.

High jump sensation Breyton Poole will also be confident of challenging for a medal in the men’s high jump final on Saturday, as he too goes in search of a global youth and junior double following his stunning victory in Nairobi.

ELITE ATHLETES TO BE DRIVEN BY FURY FORD

(Photos by ©Terence Vrugtman / AdventureLifeSA)

ELITE ATHLETES TO BE DRIVEN BY FURY FORD

Some of South Africa’s most accomplished athletes will be able to move as swiftly off the track as they do on it, with Fury Ford throwing its weight behind four elite stars.

With all four athletes displaying spectacular form on the domestic and international track and field circuits this season, Fury Ford will ensure they can stick to their hectic schedules by offering them quality, reliable vehicles when they are on home soil.

Long jumper Ruswahl Samaai, a World Championships and Commonwealth Games medallist, will utilise a Ford Ranger double cab, and Carina Horn, who made history in March by clocking 10.98 to become the first SA woman to run under 11 seconds in the 100m sprint, will have full use of a Ford Ecosport.

Sprinter Henricho Bruintjies, who earned two medals at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia earlier this year, and hurdles specialist Cornel Fredericks, a former Commonwealth Games and African Championships gold medalist, will each be seen driving in a Ford Fiesta.

Jock Green,one of the Dealer Principals within the Fury Ford stable said “We are proud to have four of the nation’s most successful and recognisable track and field athletes associated with our brand. Their hard work and commitment have driven them to the highest levels of their sport, and at the Fury Motor Group we are all about people, so we are pleased to be able to support them as they continue to chase their goals."

VAN NIEKERK SHORTLISTED FOR IAAF AWARD

World champion Wayde van Niekerk has been recognised once again for another incredible season, after being included among three men’s finalists for the IAAF World Athlete of the Year Awards.
His 2017 campaign included two medals at the World Championships in London in August and a 300m world best of 30.81 in Ostrava in June.
Van Niekerk also went unbeaten in the 400m event, successfully defending his global title.
“It is such an honour to be recognised as a finalist again,” he said.
“Just to be mentioned alongside such amazing athletes is special. Congratulations and good luck to my fellow finalists.”
Last year Van Niekerk was also among the finalists, after winning the Olympic 400m title and breaking the world record, but he lost out to Jamaican legend Usain Bolt who earned his third straight Olympic treble.
This year he is up against British distance runner Mo Farah, who secured 10 000m gold and 5 000m silver at the World Championships, and world high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar.
The winner will be revealed at the annual IAAF awards ceremony in Monaco on November 24.

NATIONAL YOUTH RECORD FOR POOLE

Getting his summer season off to a brilliant start, high jump prodigy Breyton Poole entered the record books with a personal best leap in Cape Town on Saturday.
The 17-year-old athlete, who had set his previous career best of 2.24m to win the world youth title in Nairobi earlier this year, went one centimetre higher at the Western Province Athletics open meeting, clearing the bar at 2.25m.
With this performance, he equalled the 18-year-old national youth record held by former world champion Jacques Freitag.
He also climbed to a tie for seventh position in the South African senior all-time list, as well as a share of 12th place in the world all-time rankings in his age group.
With two years ahead of him in the U-20 age division, Poole is already within sight of Freitag’s national junior record of 2.31m, with only two SA athletes (Freitag and Casper Labuschagne) having previously jumped higher than 2.25m at junior level.
“Breyton has again proved he is one of SA’s most exciting track and field prospects, with this record highlighting his immense potential,” said Peet van Zyl of In-Site Athlete Management.
“Already in the best form of his life at this early stage of the season, if he can build on his rapid progress, I think we can expect more fireworks from him next year.”

VAN NIEKERK TO UNDERGO KNEE SURGERY

After delivering consistent, spectacular performances over the last few seasons, international sprint sensation Wayde van Niekerk will take an injury-enforced break from racing in the first half of the 2018 campaign.
The 400m world record holder has arrived in the United States where he will undergo a medical procedure at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado.
Van Niekerk, the world and Olympic one-lap champion, picked up medial and lateral tears of the meniscus, as well as a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), while participating in a recent celebrity touch rugby match in Cape Town.
Following surgery, he will undergo rehabilitation for six months in Vail, Doha and South Africa, and will therefore be unavailable to represent South Africa at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in April.
“I was looking forward to competing in the 100m and 200m events in Gold Coast, and participating at the national championships in March, so this is unfortunate timing,” Van Niekerk said.
“But this is sport and these things happen. I trust that the team I have around me, including the medical professionals, will make this process as smooth as possible.
“I have faith that, God willing, I’ll be able to race again later next year. Full recovery is going to be crucial, so I’ll be patient, but I will work as hard as I can to get back on the track as soon as possible.”

WAYDE’S LIFE STORY TO INSPIRE THE NATION

World record holder Wayde van Niekerk is excited to tell his story, in a documentary which is set to be released in collaboration with T-Systems early next year.
The information and communication technology company, which enjoys a long-term partnership with the global sprint sensation, started filming last year, which coincided with Van Niekerk’s Olympic victory in a world record 43.03 seconds in Rio.
“It was good timing, having something this massive, a milestone in my life, shared to the world,” Van Niekerk said at the announcement of the film, which tells his life story.
“I’m excited for this journey and this documentary to be launched.”
Telling Van Niekerk’s inspirational biography, from premature birth to Olympic glory, the first clip of the documentary was viewed at a T-Systems launch this week.
The completed film will be aired in February next year.
“It’s such an honour to have a story that a company like T-Systems can use to inspire,” Van Niekerk said.
“It’s a privilege to share my story and hopefully it can be an inspirational story to the country.”

WAYDE VAN NIEKERK INSPIRES SPRINGBOKS

South African athletics star Wayde van Niekerk presented the Springboks with their match day jerseys on the eve of their Castle Lager Rugby Championship Test against the Wallabies in Bloemfontein.

Van Niekerk, the 400m world record holder and Olympic champion, delivered a short and inspirational message to the team on Friday morning.

“We as sportspeople sometimes don’t realise the impact we have on ordinary people,” the soft spoken athletics star said afterwards.

“South Africans are sports loving people and they look to the Springboks for inspiration. I am a huge Springbok fan myself and to find myself amongst these guys in the middle of the Springbok team room was just an unbelievable and humbling experience.

“My short message to them was to go out there and play the game to the best of their ability – they have done their homework and they know what to do,” said Van Niekerk. His coach, Tannie Ans Botha has the honour of being the SA flag bearer tomorrow.

Eben Etzebeth will again lead the Springboks on Saturday and said the Boks were absolutely delighted to spend some time with Van Niekerk.

“Wayde is an inspiration for us and he is such a humble person. So to receive our match jerseys from him was a huge honour and privilege,” said Etzebeth.

Van Niekerk, who lives in Bloemfontein where he completed his high school career, was also included in the traditional Springbok team photograph after the customary jersey presentation ceremony.

The match at the Toyota Stadium, which kicks off at 17h05, is the Springboks’ penultimate fixture of the 2017 Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

EDENGLEN HIGH UNVEILS AKANI SIMBINE STAND

Local sprint king Akani Simbine was given a special surprise by his alma mater on Wednesday morning, when it was revealed that a stand had been named after him at Edenglen High School in Edenvale.
Simbine, who reached the 100m final at the 2016 Olympic Games and 2017 World Championships, was not aware that he would receive the honour until he arrived at the school for a visit.
The 23-year-old national record holder was greeted by pupils before signing autographs and posing for photographs while sitting on the ‘Akani Simbine Stand’.

VAN NIEKERK OUT OF ZURICH DIAMOND LEAGUE

World champion Wayde van Niekerk has withdrawn from the men’s 400m race at the Diamond League meeting in Zurich, Switzerland on August 24, due to a recurring back injury.

Van Niekerk, also the Olympic champion and world record holder, has had to manage the niggle throughout the season, overcoming the setback to retain his one-lap crown and take the 200m silver medal at the IAAF World Championships in London, England last week.

“This injury has plagued me throughout the summer and I had to receive treatment from Dr Muller-Wohlfahrt,” Van Niekerk said.

“Obviously you don’t want your competitors to know if you are struggling in any way, so I’ve kept it quiet until this point.”

Returning to training this week after his successful campaign at the World Championships, the versatile 25-year-old sprinter felt the back injury flare up again.

After consultation with coach Ans Both, it was decided to avoid the risk of competing again at this late stage of the season, as a precaution in the build-up to the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in April.

“I am bitterly disappointed I won’t be competing in the last Diamond League event of the season as I haven’t won a Diamond League Final before and was hoping to get my hands on one of the fiercely contested Diamond trophies, but we feel it is in my best interest to recover fully, in order to ensure I can take on the 2018 season in good health and at full strength,” Van Niekerk said.

SEMENYA BAGS FIFTH IN-SITE MEDAL

Caster Semenya ended In-Site’s campaign at the IAAF World Championships on Sunday by racking up another international title, on the 10th and final day of the biennial showpiece in London, England.
Lining up as the pre-race favourite, after stunning her opponents by claiming the 1 500m bronze medal earlier in the week, Semenya made no mistakes in the 800m final.
Producing a well-judged tactical effort, she delivered a blinding kick down the home straight to win gold in 1:55.16, breaking her own South African record of 1:55.27 which had been set in Monaco last month.
“I’m lucky to have a great support team who work with me. Full credit to them,” said the Olympic gold medallist and former world champion.
“Another world title is a fantastic honour for me and I love to do it here in London.
“The crowd are so welcoming to me and it makes it feel even more special.”
It was a superb championships for In-Site athletes, who contributed five of South Africa’s record six medals.
Wayde van Niekerk retained his 400m global crown and bagged silver in a hard-fought 200m final, while Ruswahl Samaai earned bronze in the long jump contest.
“Well done to all our athletes who competed in London, and congratulations to all the medallists. They have delivered stunning all-round performances,” said Peet van Zyl of In-Site Athlete Management.
“We are tremendously proud of what they have achieved here, and we believe they have the ability to reach even greater heights as they continue to challenge for well-earned places among the global track and field elite.”