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Athletics | World Silver Medallist Letsile Leads ASA Grand Prix 2 In Tshwane


While sprint star Tebogo Letsile of Botswana could steal the show, South African athletes will be confident of challenging on the track and in the field at the second leg of the ASA Athletix Grand Prix series, a World Athletics Continental Tour Challenger meeting taking place at Tuks Stadium in Pretoria on Monday.

Tebogo, who earned medals in the 100m (silver) and 200m (bronze) events at last year's World Athletics Championships in Budapest, will turn out as the favourite in the men's 400m sprint, as he steps up in distance after setting a 300m world best of 30.69 seconds in Tshwane last month.

The 20 year-old rocket, lines up against a field which also includes local favourite Thapelo Phora, a former All Africa Games silver medallist, and Zibane Ngozi of Botswana, a former Olympic relay bronze medallist.

In other events on the track, sub-50 seconds' athletes Le Roux Hamman and Keitumetse Maitseo of Botswana will line up in the men's 400m hurdles, while SA record holder Clarence Munyai turns out against former Commonwealth Games 400m champion Isaac Makwala of Botswana in the men's 200m sprint.

In the women's 100m dash, a strong international field includes four-time Asian Championships finalist Maryam Toosi of Iran and Arab Championships 200m gold medallist Aziza Sbaity of Lebanon.

In addition, a South African quartet will compete in the men's 4x100m relay, in an international contest which features teams from Denmark, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Saudi Arabia.

In field events, former national champion Johann Grobler is one of four athletes in the men's javelin who have thrown further than 80 metres in their careers, along with China's Heqing Niu, Finland's Toni Keranen and Japan's Roderick Genki Dean.

A tight battle is also expected in the men's long jump. Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jovan van Vuuren, who set a personal best of 8.30m in Tshwane earlier this month, is up against African Championships silver medallist Cheswill Johnson.

"We look forward to another great night of a two-hour thriller which offers different athletes a d teams a chance to improve their performances and for others to qualify for the Olympic Games in Paris" saidJames Moloi, the President of Athletics South Africa. 


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