Next year’s Athletics South Africa (ASA) Senior Championships have been re-scheduled to take place before the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast following a call from coaches.
The Championships in Tshwane had been provisionally due to be held after Gold Coast 2018 scheduled to run from April 4 to 15.
They have now been bought forward to March 15 to 17 with ASA President Aleck Skhosana insisting athletes can use them primarily as a springboard for the Commonwealth Games.
Skhosana claims coaches made an informed request to rearrange the Championships during a symposium in Bloemfontein in September.
"We took note that the Games will be held earlier than most international outdoor championships, so it made sense," Skhosana was reported as saying by South African-based website Independent Online.
"Listening to the coaches and their opinions is crucial in our drive to take the federation forward, as they are a direct link to the athletes.
"We hope this decision will assist athletes in their final preparation for the Games, as the National Championships offers world-class competition."
It was confirmed earlier this week that South African star Wayde van Niekerk, the men’s 400 metres world record holder, has been ruled out of Gold Coast 2018 after sustaining a knee injury during a celebrity touch rugby match.
Van Niekerk had revealed his intention to compete for South Africa at the Games last month and was planning to compete over the 100m and 200m.
It would have meant he would not have participated in the 400m, the distance in which he is the Olympic and world champion.
The 25-year-old said today that surgery on his right knee in the United States had been successful.
Two-time reigning Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya has been a leading performer for South Africa this year.
She appears to have various options available to her in the race for the final Gold Coast 2018 team after meeting the necessary marks in the 400m, 800m and 1500m events.
The preliminary team is due to be submitted to the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee in the first week of January.