Another action-packed night of track and field athletics is scheduled tonight, as the Athletics South Africa Night Series moves to the coastal city of Port Elizabeth.
The third of four legs in the inaugural campaign will be held at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Stadium.
A wide variety of disciplines will be contested, with some of the nation’s top athletes on display as they aim to capitalise on their peak form just three days after the National Senior Championships comes to a close in Cape Town.
On the track, 200m and 400m races will be held for men and women, while the timetable also includes a full schedule of hurdles races over the 100m/110m and 400m distances.
World Student Games 400m champion Justine Palframan will attempt a sprint double. In the one-lap race she will face Wenda Nel, a World Championships 400m hurdles finalist, and Youth Olympic 400m hurdles champion Gezelle Magerman.
The Men’s 400m event also promises to be a hard-fought contest, with former World Championships 400m Hurdles bronze medallist, LJ van Zyl already confirming his participation, along with Olympic 800m silver medallist Nijel Amos of Botswana and a number of local single-lap specialists.
In the Men’s 110m Hurdles, African champion Antonio Alkana will line up as the firm favourite, after approaching his best form in the early stages of the domestic season.
Middle-distance athletes will also be on show, aiming to capitalise on the sea-level venue, with highly anticipated races on the cards in the Men’s and Women’s 1 500m.
The men’s metric mile features another former global championships bronze medallist, Johan Cronje, and in-form Elroy Gelant, with Lebogang Phalula confirmed in the provisional line-up for the women’s race.
The Men’s 5 000m race, the longest event on the schedule, will be spearheaded by national record holder Stephen Mokoka.
Six field events will also be contested at the two-hour meeting.
Men will compete in the shot put, hammer throw and javelin disciplines, while women will compete in the triple jump, pole vault, and discus.
The leading contenders will include Pretoria giant Orazio Cremona, who turns out in his specialist shot put event, and veteran hammer thrower Chris Harmse.
“We have already seen some superb performances at the first two legs of the series, and we are pleased to have seen the athletes taking advantage of the opportunity by showcasing their impressive form in the early stages of the season,” said Athletics South Africa President, Aleck Skhosana.
“We have also seen some new names emerging from this campaign, highlighting the growth and future potential of the sport, which is something positive we can take moving forward”.