ASA: more clue­less than ever

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - OCKERT DE VILLIERS

AN at­tempt to clar­ify their con­tro­ver­sial se­lec­tion de­ci­sions for the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships has in­stead ex­posed Ath­let­ics SA’s (ASA) failed logic.

A doc­u­ment ex­plain­ing their ra­tio­nale be­hind the non-se­lec­tion of cer­tain ath­letes who have met the IAAF cri­te­ria but not ASA’s tougher stan­dard has left the Fed­er­a­tion with egg on its face.

The fed­er­a­tion has left out 13 ath­letes who have met the IAAF stan­dards while five more were se­lected de­spite not meet­ing ASA’s strin­gent stan­dards.

The doc­u­ment showed clear mis­takes and a clear bias.

For­mer South African 100m record-holder Hen­ri­cho Bru­in­tjies, who dipped be­low the IAAF qual­i­fy­ing time of 10.12 sec­onds two times this sea­son, was deemed not good enough for se­lec­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ment Bru­in­tjies, with a sea­son’s best of 10.06, would need to run 9.99 to make it into the semi-fi­nals at the world cham­pi­onships.

It also states in brack­ets that the semi­fi­nals are made of the top 16 ath­letes from the heats when it is in fact 24.

It also claimed Bru­in­tjies was not con­sid­ered for se­lec­tion as there were three South African ath­letes ranked higher than the sprinter.

Al­though Wayde van Niek­erk boasts a faster time than Bru­in­tjies, the world 400m record-holder will not be rac­ing the 100m sprint leav­ing space for an­other ath­lete to fill the third avail­able spot.

ASA’s rea­son­ing took a far­ci­cal turn when it tried to jus­tify the ex­clu­sion of the coun­try’s male 400m hur­dlers Cor­nel Fred­er­icks, LJ van Zyl and Con­stant Pre­to­rius.

It claims youth ath­lete Sok­wakhana Zazini has run faster than the se­nior ath­letes over the bar­ri­ers.

While Zazini may have a posted a faster time, ASA does not ac­count for the fact that he races over lower hur­dles which re­sult in faster times.

Fi­nally, ASA claimed race walk­ers Marc Mun­dell, Anel Oosthuizen, Wayne Sny­man, dis­tance ace Do­minique Scott-Efurd and de­cath­lete Fredriech Pre­to­rius were un­likely to qual­ify of the semi-fi­nals based on their sea­son’s best points and times.

These ath­letes have all qual­i­fied straight for fi­nals and will not have to com­pete in heats at the cham­pi­onships.

A num­ber of coaches, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity for fear of vic­tim­i­sa­tion of their ath­letes, said the se­lec­tion cri­te­ria was a chal­lenge at the be­gin­ning of the year but ASA adopted it de­spite over­whelm­ing op­po­si­tion.

“To de­velop ath­letes and ath­let­ics you need to give them the ex­po­sure they de­serve for reach­ing the qual­i­fy­ing stan­dards,” one of the coaches said.

“If an ath­lete makes a world champs team based on the IAAF stan­dards, whether it is ac­cord­ing to the lists, the times or if they are a de­fend­ing cham­pion, then he must go.”

An­other coach said no agree­ment was reached when the qual­i­fy­ing stan­dards were dis­cussed in the meet­ing ear­lier the year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.