Viwe Jingqi to set track alight

Viwe Jingqi will lead South African athletes on Thursday, as they prepare for an onslaught
from a powerful international contingent at the first leg of the ASA Grand Prix series, a World
Athletics Continental Tour Challenger meeting taking place at NWU McArthur Stadium in

In the women’s 200m event, all eyes will be on junior star Jingqi, who has already shown good
form this year after recovering from injury niggles that hampered her 2023 season.

Jingqi clocked 16.93 seconds to set a new national best over the rarely contested 150m
distance at the Backtrack Classic Shootout in Tshwane last month, and the 19 year-old
speedster is expected to light up the track in the half-lap sprint at the Grand Prix series

There could also be fireworks in the men’s sprints, with 20 year-old Benjamin Richardson – a
three-time former medallist at the World Athletics U20 Championships – set to open his 2024
campaign in the 200m event.

In the 400m hurdles, while African champion Zeney Geldenhuys might have it all her way if
she can find her top gear, she will have to be at her best in a discipline which has enjoyed
significant growth in quality and depth on the domestic circuit in recent years.

Sokwakhana Zazini, also the reigning African champion, will need to be equally competitive in
the men’s one-lap race over the barriers.

Zazini will line up against a field which includes 20 year-old prospect Ismael Abakar of Qatar,
who won the Asian junior title last year.

Visiting international stars will be aiming to dominate the men’s and women’s 800m races
against some of SA’s top middle-distance runners.

Kethobogile Haingura of Botswana, who set a personal best of 1:45.53 in Tshwane earlier this
month, and Yassine Hethat of Algeria, who holds a career best of 1:44.06, will turn out in the
men’s two-lap race.

The women’s field features the likes of Finland’s Veera Mattila, who earned the silver medal at
last season’s European¬†U23 Championships, and Veronika Sadek, who won the Slovenian
national indoor title last month.

Among the field events, Olympic silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic will be
among the headline acts. Vadlejch, a three-time medallist at the World Athletics
Championships, spearheads the entry list in the men’s javelin throw.

“The first leg at Potch officially kick-starts our national track and field season to which many
of our athletes have been looking forward to,'” said James Moloi the President of Athletics
South Africa. “With a quality continent of international athletes tge Grand Prix Series once
again promises to be a blockbuster.”

The main programme at the ASA Grand Prix meeting in Potchefstroom will be broadcast live
from 6pm-8pm on SuperSport Variety 4.

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