Athletics SA have named their team to represent South Africa at the IAAF World U20 Championships and have set the 19-member squad lofty ambitions.
The final team for the event which takes place in Tampere, Finland, from 10-15 July consists of 13 men and six women, a few of which stand out as favourites for medals.
In fact, hurdles starlets Zeney van der Walt and Sokwakhana Zazini as well as high jumper Breyton Poole will be aiming for back-to-back global crowns after winning their Under-18 world titles in Nairobi last year. They will also look to inspire their teammates to a stronger showing in the Under-20 worlds than Team SA managed two years ago.
"While South Africa finished 22nd on the medals table at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Junior Championships with three silver medals, we went on to finish top of the table at the IAAF World U18 Championships last year with 11 medals," said Athletics SA president Aleck Skhosana in a press release.
"We are confident in this group of young talented athletes, who have all proved they have what it takes to compete against the best in the world at the very highest level of our sport in their age division."
Apart from the 'defending champions' the performances of Thando Dlodlo can also be eagerly anticipated after he became South Africa's fastest U20 100-metre sprinter of all time in March.
At the ASA Senior Track and Field Championships in Pretoria, Dlodlo reaffirmed that that the rise of South African sprinting is showing no signs of abating when he a ran a 10.11 - a time which suggests that the aim of becoming only the second high school athlete to run the 100m in under 10 seconds is within his grasp.
Team SA for Tampere 2018
Men - 100m: Thando Dlodlo, Tembo Monareng
200m: Thando Dlodlo, Ruben Els
400m: Gabriel Louw
110m hurdles: Silusapho Dingiswayo
400m hurdles: Lourens Steenkamp, Sokwakhana Zazini
High jump: Breyton Poole
Shot put: Kayle Blignaut
Discus: Naas Marais
Javelin: Anro van Eeden
4x100m: Silusapho Dingiswayo, Thando Dlodlo, Ruben Els, Tembo Monareng, Malesela Senona
4x400m: Thando Dlodlo, Gabriel Louw, Tembo Monareng, Lourens Steenkamp, Sokwakhana Zazini
Women - 400m: Nicola Gibbon, Marlie Viljoen
800m: Liza Kellerman
400m hurdles: Rogail Joseph, Zeney van der Walt
Shot put: Mieke Strydom
4x400m: Nicola Gibbon, Rogail Joseph, Liza Kellerman, Zeney van der Walt, Marlie Viljoen