ASA’s pre­lim­i­nary squad fields some dis­crep­an­cies

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - OCKERT DE VILLIERS

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

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