In-form Bru­in­tjies slams ASA over se­lec­tion pol­icy

Pretoria News Weekend - - SPORT - OCK­ERT VIL­LIERS

PARIS: ‘Damned if you do and damned if you don’t’, would be what Ath­let­ics South Africa (ASA) are think­ing af­ter tak­ing flak for their se­lec­tions for two dif­fer­ent teams.

Com­rades Marathon women’s win­ner Ann Ash­worth de­clined se­lec­tion for the World 100km Cham­pi­onships in Croa­tia, cit­ing ASA’s lack of sup­port for her de­ci­sion.

ASA also an­nounced a 79-mem­ber squad for the African Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships in As­aba, Nige­ria, in Au­gust.

Com­mon­wealth sil­ver medal­list Hen­ri­cho Bru­in­tjies is one of the glar­ing omis­sions. with the for­mer SA 100m record holder voic­ing his an­noy­ance with the snub.

“I de­serve a bit more re­spect be­cause I per­formed be­yond peo­ple’s ex­pec­ta­tions re­turn­ing with a medal at the Com­mon­wealth Games,” Bru­in­tjies said ahead of his race at the Paris Di­a­mond League meet­ing to­day.

“It is just dis­ap­point­ing not to be se­lected, and I be­lieve I would have been in the medals.

“We need to get peo­ple that can se­lect pro­fes­sional teams and not based on a piece of pa­per.”

It is now the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year Bru­in­tjies have been left out of a team at a ma­jor cham­pi­onships. Last year he met the IAAF’s qual­i­fy­ing stan­dards for the World Cham­pi­onships but did not make the cut ac­cord­ing to ASA’s stricter cri­te­ria.

ASA has come un­der se­vere crit­i­cism for cre­at­ing par­al­lel cri­te­ria to that of the IAAF to the detri­ment of the ath­letes.

For the African Cham­pi­onships, they have strictly stuck to the top rank­ings in each event to make their se­lec­tions, with­out con­sid­er­ing cur­rent form.

This meant seven-time SA 100m cham­pion Si­mon Ma­gakwe and Roscoe En­gel have earned places ahead of Bru­in­tjies.

Ma­gakwe has con­sis­tently posted sub-10.20 sec­ond times on the Euro­pean cir­cuit in­clud­ing a 10.11 in Niv­elles, France last Satur­day.

En­gel, in turn, clocked a per­sonal best of 10.06 in his semi-fi­nal of the na­tional cham­pi­onships, knock­ing 0.13s off his pre­vi­ous PB set seven years ago.

He has not come close to that time since, clock­ing 10.44 and 10.45 in his last two races in Paarl in March and Stock­holm.

“Some­times you have to show form some­times, and if you do they don’t se­lect you, so I don’t know what you are sup­posed to do,” Bru­in­ties said.

“I don’t even know if there is a cri­te­rion be­cause some­times you have to qual­ify the year be­fore, or at other times on the day of a spe­cific meet!”

Bru­in­tjies clocked a sea­son’s best of 10.10 in his semi-fi­nal at the SA Cham­pi­onships but has con­sis­tently posted sub-10.20 times over the past month.

He ran 10.11 at an IAAF Chal­lenge meet­ing in Madrid last Fri­day be­fore clock­ing 10.28 in Tomblaine, France on Wed­nes­day.

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