ANAL­Y­SIS: What Team SA did wrong

How Team SA fared in Bei­jing

CityPress - - Sport - DANIEL MOTHOWAGAE in Bei­jing dmoth­owa­gae@city­

If one re­moves Wayde van Niek­erk’s 400m gold medal and Anaso Jo­bod­wana’s 200m bronze from the equa­tion, Team SA has un­der­achieved at the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships.

We can only pin our hopes on javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen to add to the medal tally in her fi­nal this af­ter­noon.

Things did not seem right from the be­gin­ning and, for that, one needs to un­der­stand the fi­nan­cial po­si­tion of Ath­let­ics SA (ASA).

That the team only ar­rived three days be­fore the men’s 100m (first round), men’s marathon and 10 000m fi­nals on the first day of the com­pe­ti­tion was a recipe for fail­ure.

The team cer­tainly needed a pre­tour­na­ment camp to adapt to con­di­tions, con­sid­er­ing the six-hour time dif­fer­ence be­tween South Africa and Bei­jing.

The 4x100m re­lay team stum­bling in the heats and fail­ing to fin­ish their race yesterday brought to light the re­sults of poor plan­ning by the ASA.

It also raised the is­sue of poor com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween the as­so­ci­a­tion and the ath­letes.

The 4x100m team was en­tered into the com­pe­ti­tion. But the ath­letes con­firmed yesterday that they only knew when they got to Bei­jing that they were go­ing to run in the re­lay.

The ASA also tried to en­ter the 4x400m re­lay team when they were al­ready in Bei­jing, but they couldn’t put to­gether a de­cent group.

Jo­bod­wana (200m); Akani Sim­bine (100m and 200m); Hen­ri­cho Bru­in­tjies (100m); and An­to­nio Alkana (100m hur­dles) came to the cham­pi­onships fo­cused only on their in­di­vid­ual events.

They only got to train as a team the day be­fore yesterday’s 4x100m heats.

Jo­bod­wana was still re­cov­er­ing from run­ning the 200m fi­nal in which he won bronze in a na­tional record time of 19.87 sec­onds on Thurs­day.

The US-based sprinter said he sent mes­sages to the ASA on two oc­ca­sions to en­quire if there was a re­lay team for the cham­pi­onships, but he did not get any an­swers un­til he ar­rived in Bei­jing.

Jo­bod­wana had also asked in vain to be scratched from the 100m, which he had to run or face ex­pul­sion from the rest of the com­pe­ti­tion. He de­cided on a false start.

Pag­ing through the cham­pi­ons’ team man­ual, it’s clear Team SA of­fi­cials did not ex­er­cise the op­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion rules that coun­tries can with­draw ath­letes by 9am the day be­fore they com­pete. This could have cost us a medal.

Jo­bod­wana told City Press his false start in the 100m had tweaked his groin but “thanks to the good physio we had”, he was fit to run a medal-win­ning time in the 200m fi­nal. This was his tar­get in Bei­jing, be­cause he had just re­turned from in­jury.

Yes, he did run a qual­i­fy­ing time to be in­cluded for the 100m, but he never ran enough races this sea­son to be en­tered for this event. The ASA could have checked with his coach first be­fore en­ter­ing him.

In fu­ture, ad­min­is­tra­tors with sound per­for­mance­m­an­age­ment skills should be con­sid­ered to man­age the team in­stead of board mem­bers.

Hope­fully, all these mis­takes will serve as good lessons and not to be re­peated at the 2017 World Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don.


Wayde van Niek­erk (400m gold medal­list, NR*); Anaso Jo­bod­wana (100m DQ*, 200m bronze medal­list, NR*); Akani Sim­bine (100m fi­nal­ist, 200m semi­fi­nal­ist); Hen­ri­cho Bru­in­tjies (100m semi­fi­nal­ist); Berend Koeke­moer (400m first round); Ca­rina Horn (100m semi­fi­nal­ist); Justine Pal­fra­man (400m first round; 200m semi­fi­nal­ist)

Mid-long dis­tance

Caster Se­menya (800m semi­fi­nal­ist); Rey­nard van Rens­burg (800m first round); Stephen Mokoka (10 000m, 20th out of 23); Jo­han Cronje (1 500m semi­fi­nal­ist)


Khotso Mokoena, Zarck Visser, Rush­wahl Sa­maai (all long jump first round); and Khotso Mokoena (triple jump fi­nal­ist)


Wenda Nel (400m hur­dles fi­nal­ist); LJ van Zyl (400m hur­dles semi­fi­nal­ist); An­to­nio Alkana (110m hur­dles first round); Cor­nel Fred­er­icks (400m hur­dles, DNS*)


Vic­tor Ho­gan (dis­cus first round); Jaco En­gel­brecht, Orazio Cre­mona (both shot put first round); Rocco van Rooyen (javelin first round)

Com­bined events

Willem Co­ertzen (de­cathlon DNF*)


4x100m (DNF*)


Desmond Mok­gobu (42nd out of 41 fin­ish­ers); Sibu­siso Nz­ima, Bene­dict Mo­eng (both DNF*)

Race walk

Le­bo­gang Shange (20km walk 11th out of 50 fin­ish­ers, NR*); Marc Mun­dell (50km walk, 33rd out of 38 fin­ish­ers)



* – dis­qual­i­fied * – na­tional record * – Did not fin­ish * – Did not start




ILL-PRE­PARED From left: An­to­nio Alkana, Hen­ri­cho Bru­in­tjies, Anaso Jo­bod­wana and Akani Sim­bine were not ready for the 4x100m re­lay

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