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Those who made it by grace

Thanks to the new qual­i­fi­ca­tion sys­tem of the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions (IAAF), which was in­tro­duced prior to the Bei­jing World Cham­pi­onships, three South African mid­dis­tance run­ners have been in­vited to the global track and field con­test.

The trio – 3 000m steeplechasers Dikotsi Lekopa (27) and Tu­misang Mon­nat­lala (20), as well as 1 500m spe­cial­ist Du­misane Hlaselo (26) – made the cut by virtue of be­ing the next-best-ranked ath­letes dur­ing the qual­i­fi­ca­tion pe­riod Oc­to­ber 2014 to Au­gust 10 2015.

Ac­cord­ing to the IAAF’s qual­i­fi­ca­tion sys­tem, mem­ber fed­er­a­tions can com­pete with up to three ath­letes in each in­di­vid­ual event on con­di­tion that they are all qual­i­fied.

Then there is the in­vi­ta­tion by rank­ing process – as in the cases of Lekopa, Mon­nat­lala and Hlaselo.

South African cham­pion Lekopa, of Ath­let­ics Cen­tral North West, boasts a sea­son best time of 8:32.17 that won him the na­tional ti­tle at the Se­nior Track and Field Cham­pi­onships in Stel­len­bosch, Western Cape, in April.

Mon­nat­lala of Cen­tral Gaut­eng Ath­let­ics (CGA) was Lekopa’s run­ner-up in 8:33.02 at the same cham­pi­onships, while Hlaselo, also of CGA, ran a sea­son best 3:36.36 in the 1 500m. The IAAF cov­ers their cham­pi­onship costs. South Africa will com­pete in 18 of the 23 in­di­vid­ual events at the global event, which ends on Au­gust 30.

Dikotsi Lekopa

Du­misane Hlaselo

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