ASA’s preliminary squad fields some discrepancies
ATHLETICS South Africa (ASA) seems to be applying double standards in their selection for the IAAF World Championships after it released a preliminary team for the London showpiece next month.
While the track and field athletes have to reach the A-qualifying standards to earn selection, the female marathoners’ were pencilled in based on B-standards.
ASA announced a preliminary squad of 21 athletes, consisting of 15 men and only six women.
Close to 20 track and field athletes who have posted B-qualifying standards, which is the official IAAF criteria, including four athletes who have earned wildcard spots for winning continental titles in Durban last year, did not make the squad.
Women’s marathoners Mapaseka Makhanya and Jenna Challenor have both been included based on their times that did not meet the A-qualifying time.
ASA president Aleck Skhosana stressed it was only a preliminary squad. “That is still a provisional team and it comes to me when it has gone through all the appeals and this team is for people to comment and ask the relevant questions,” Skhosana said.
Defending 400m world champion Wayde van Niekerk and Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya will be spearheading the team.
The final team selected will be announced by July 23.
“Before the final entry date, ASA will have to decide which of the four long jumpers, whom qualified in the men’s category, on the A-Standard of the ASA qualifying standards, will be entered to represent (the country),” ASA said in a circular. “According to the IAAF rules, only three athletes can be entered per country in each event.”
The team also includes four 200m athletes.
Six men have posted qualifying times in the halflap event, including Lebakeng Sesele and Gift Leotlela.
In the circular, ASA said it was waiting on the IAAF to see whether a South African 4x100m relay team, which they claim to be ranked seventh in the world, would be invited to participate in London.
According to the IAAF’s qualifying criteria teams automatically qualify “as being one of the first eight placed teams at the 2017 IAAF World Relays in The Bahamas.”
Three of the teams – Canada, Great Britain and the Netherlands – did not finish the