Caster joins Wayde and Akani in go­ing for dou­ble glory

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - OCKERT DE VILLIERS

OLYMPIC 800m gold medal­list Caster Se­menya will likely race for dou­ble gold at the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don af­ter she re­quested to be en­tered in the 1500m at the global show­piece.

Se­menya will be the third South African to at­tempt a dou­ble, with world record holder Wayde van Niek­erk go­ing for the 200/400m dou­ble and Akani Sim­bine rac­ing the 100 and 200m.

An­nounc­ing the fi­nal team fol­low­ing an appeal by ath­letes who were left out, Ath­let­ics SA (ASA) con­firmed Se­menya would at­tempt the dou­ble.

“Caster Se­menya has ap­pealed to be en­tered for... both the 800m and the 1500m,” ASA said.

“ASA has ap­proved the appeal as Caster Se­menya is the cur­rent CAA African Cham­pion in the 800m and 1500m.”

Three more names were added to the team af­ter the IAAF in­vited the SA women’s 4x400m re­lay team to par­tic­i­pate in the Lon­don cham­pi­onships.

Jus­tine Pal­fra­man, Gena Lof­s­trand and Ari­ane Nel will be part of the re­lay team that also in­cludes Se­menya and 400m hur­dles ace Wenda Nel.

World Stu­dent Games 400m cham­pion Pal­fra­man will also be rac­ing in the 200m while Lof­s­trand will be able to com­pete in the 800m.

“We are proud to an­nounce the ad­di­tional names into our fi­nal team for these cham­pi­onships,” said ASA pres­i­dent Aleck Skhosana.

“We be­lieve that this is one of our strong­est teams ever for a global championship in re­cent years, with the se­lec­tors hav­ing fo­cused on ex­cel­lence in our team.

“We wish each ath­lete the best of luck and we trust they will be able to per­form at their best at one of the high­est stages of in­ter­na­tional ath­let­ics.”

ASA have come un­der se­vere crit­i­cism for largely omit­ting ath­letes who have met IAAF qual­i­fy­ing stan­dards.

ASA had made the un­pop­u­lar de­ci­sion of set­ting their own stan­dards, which were markedly tougher than the IAAF’s.

ASA de­fended their de­ci­sion not to select all ath­letes who met the IAAF stan­dards by claim­ing their pol­icy was “aligned with SRSA (Sport and Recre­ation SA) to pre­sent a win­ning team to sup­port the vi­sion of SRSA to be a win­ning na­tion”.

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