South Africa’s four track and field medallists at the Rio Olympics were included in a 38-member ‘preparation squad’ released by Athletics SA on Monday for the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.
World 400m record holder Wayde van Niekerk, 800m star Caster Semenya, long jumper Luvo Manyonga and javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen were listed among a group of 26 men and 12 women.
The national federation told its members the squad had been compiled of athletes who met international qualifying standards for the showpiece during the 2016 season. A provisional squad and final team were expected to be released next season, ahead of the biennial spectacle.
“As part of the preparation for the IAAF World Championships, ASA will be hosting an excellence workshop on November 26 and all the athletes in the preparation squad are invited to the workshop with their coaches and managers/agents,” the federation said.
Among the athletes who were not selected were sprinter Anaso Jobodwana, who competed in the 200m heats at the Rio Olympics in August in his only race of an injury-struck season, triple jumper Khotso Mokoena, who announced his plan to retire after the Games, and discus thrower Victor Hogan who was serving a two-year anti-doping ban, though he was still fighting for a reduced sentence.
While 14 marathon runners had achieved the qualifying standards of 2:19:00 (men) and 2:45:00 (women) this year, only 10 were selected for the squad, with three places available in each of the 42km races in the English capital.
Olympic marathon runner Lungile Gongqa, Thabang Masihlelo, Jenna Challenor and Rene Kalmer, who was expecting her first child next year, did not make the cut.
SA preparation squad for 2017 IAAF World Championships:
Men: Akani Simbine (100m, 200m), Henricho Bruintjies (100m), Clarence Munyai (200m), Gift Leotlela (200m), Wayde van Niekerk (200m/400m), Jacob Rozani (800m), Rynardt van Rensburg (800m), Elroy Gelant (5 000m), Stephen Mokoka (10 000m), Antonio Alkana (110m hurdles), LJ van Zyl (400m hurdles), Lindsay Hanekom (400m hurdles), Le Roux Hamman (400m hurdles), Ruswahl Samaai (long jump), Luvo Manyonga (long jump), Stefan Brits (long jump), Dylon Cotter (long jump), Lusapho April (marathon), Sibusiso Nzima (marathon), Desmond Mokgobu (marathon), Benedict Moeng (marathon), Tumelo Motlagale (marathon), Xolisa Tyali (marathon), Lebogang Shange (20km walk), Wayne Snyman (20km walk), Marc Mundell (50km walk)
Women: Carina Horn (100m), Alyssa Conley (100m/200m), Caster Semenya (400m/800m), Dominique Scott (10 000m), Wenda Nel (400m hurdles), Lynique Prinsloo (long jump), Sunette Viljoen (javelin throw), Irvette van Zyl (marathon), Diana-Lebo Phalula (marathon), Lebogang Phalula (marathon), Mapaseka Makhanya (marathon), Anel Oosthuizen (20km walk)