Long jumpers headline SA's World Indoor team

Andrej Isakovic/AFP/Getty Images

South Africa's team for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham in March will be headlined by Luvo Manyonga and Ruswahl Samaai, the two top-ranked outdoor long jumpers in the world in 2017.

Manyonga is the world outdoor champion following his gold at the World Championships in London last year, while Samaai finished with bronze there and was the African champion in 2016. Manyonga claimed silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

The pair will be joined by countryman Khotso Mokoena in Birmingham, who will compete as a wildcard entry after he won on the IAAF World Indoor Tour last season. Mokoena is a former Indoor world champion, winning gold in Valencia in 2009, and is an Olympic silver medalist.

The rest of the six-person team, not including IAAF invitee Mokoena, is made up of Emile Erasmus (60m), Antonio Alkana (60m hurdles), Carina Horn (60m), and Dominique Scott (1500m and 3000m).

"These are the men and women carrying our hopes in London," said Aleck Skhosana, President of Athletics South Africa, in a media release on Wednesday.

"They have a lot on their shoulders as they must demonstrate the best of South African indoor performance."

The competition runs from 1 to 4 March, and after that the trio of Alkana, Manyonga, and Samaai will continue their preparations for the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April.