Some tantalising head-to-head clashes will set off the national athletics season when the inaugural ASA Speed Series goes down to King’s Park Athletics Stadium, Durban on 28 February.

 The Tuesday evening Meeting sees 2016 Rio Olympic Games finalists Elroy Gelant and Namakoe Nkhasi going in as favourites in a 16-strong field in the Men’s 10 000m.

 Gelant, the South African with a Personal Best of 27:41.30in the event, will show us the results of his Kenyan camp where he was preparing for the 2017 season. He will battle fellow Olympianand Lesotho national champion Nkhasi – who has a 28:06.33 to his name.

 The pick of the 5000m Women’s field, is the showdown between Lebogang Phalula andKesa Molotsane, who boast PBs of 16:02.55 and 16:20.26, respectively.

 For most in the 10 000m Men and 5 000m Women contests, will be trying to impress national selectors for a place in the final team to the IAAF Cross Country Championships to be held in Kampala, Uganda next month on the 26th.

 To bring the curtain down on what promises to be an exciting two hours competitive evening, all eyes will be glued on the 100m Men’s race, which could offer some splendid performance to take home for the fans.

 South African 100m national record holder Akani Simbine with 9.87 on his clock, stormed to a fifth place finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics and had a brilliant start to the last season.

 He faces Anaso Jobodwana, who has a 10.10 PB in the distance and was a worthy bronze medallist at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in the 200m. Jobodwana spent most of the last season nursing an injury, which cost him a trip to the Rio de Jainero Olympics.

 In the first hour of the programme, there will be four Relay Medley races for boys and girls, plus a 1500mMen.

 This elite national season opener will also include a 200m dash for women and 400m contests for men and women.

 The second leg of the Series goes to Bloemfontein on March 8, while the next will be hosted at Potchefstroom on March 15 and the last in Germiston on March 22.

 “We are excited!” said Aleck Skhosana, the President of Athletics South Africa. “This is a beginning of a long season, which we have confidence will be just as exciting as the last one if not better.

 “The Speed Series are the best way to launch the national season and we look forward to great performancesfrom our ambitious athletes and coaches. We wish everyone good luck.

 “The new approach of a four-year plan in the build-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which includes the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, World Relays and the Commonwealth,  will help our key role players to know their targets and work their own personalised plans accordingly.

 “”We have raised the criteria to increase performance standards, which simply means don’t want to take passengers to major international championships any more.

 “That’s why we are ensuring there are sufficient opportunities for athletes prepare including an elaborate domestic season.”

 The event starts at 5.50pm and the last event at 8.20pm. All events are finals.

 Entry is free.