Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
3 minute read
25 Jul 2017
11:59 am

Quota invitations fuel ASA selection drama even more

Wesley Botton

Three snubbed athletes crack the nod because the IAAF needs them but 14 appeals are rejected as ASA continue to cop flak for inconsistency.

Justine Palframan gained last gasp entry into the World Champs. Photo: Roger Sedres/Gallo Images.

Three athletes were added to Athletics South Africa’s (ASA) team on Tuesday for the IAAF World Championships starting in London next week.

Having received quota invitations from the IAAF for sprinter Justine Palframan (200m) and middle-distance runner Gena Lofstrand (800m), in order to fill the lanes in the heats of those events, both athletes were added to the final 26-member squad.

Also read: IAAF veto Athletics SA on Victor Hogan

Another sprinter, Ariane Nel, also cracked the nod after the national federation was invited to send a women’s 4x400m relay team, also based on quotas.

The appeals filed by the 15 athletes who met the IAAF qualifying standards, but not the more stringent ASA criteria, were all turned down by the national body.

This despite the IAAF confirming it would cover all costs of the athletes who had qualified.

“The motivation made by some of our members that all athletes that qualified according to the IAAF standards should be selected for South Africa are not relevant in this case. ASA followed its published selection criteria, and not the entry standards of the IAAF,” ASA told its members in a notice issued with the final team.

However, there was a public outcry on social media over the last few days after five athletes were selected for the team despite not meeting the ASA criteria, while the other 14 IAAF-standard qualifiers were excluded.

The only other change to the initial team was made on Monday after the IAAF had informed ASA that discus thrower Victor Hogan had not met the international criteria and could not compete in London.

Hogan was scratched from the squad.

Meanwhile, the national federation revealed that Olympic two-lap champion Caster Semenya had been entered in both the 800m and 1 500m events for the biennial showpiece, though it remained unclear whether she would attempt the double.

Athletes had the option to withdraw from additional disciplines on the eve of the championships, and Semenya was expected to make a final decision closer to the spectacle, as she did ahead of last year’s Rio Olympics when she chose to focus on the 800m contest.

Semenya and one-lap hurdler Wenda Nel, already in the team for her specialist event, were also added to the 4x400m relay squad.

The final SA team had been submitted to the IAAF and no more changes would be made.

SA team, IAAF World Championships (4-13 August, 2017):

Men

100m: Akani Simbine (AGN), Thando Roto (AGN)
200m: Simbine, Wayde van Niekerk (AFS), Clarence Munyai (AGN)
400m: Van Niekerk, Pieter Conradie (ACNW)
10 000m: Stephen Mokoka (AGN)
110m hurdles: Antonio Alkana (WPA)
Long jump: Luvo Manyonga (AGN), Ruswahl Samaai (CGA), Zarck Visser (CGA)
Shot put: Orazio Cremona (AGN), Jaco Engelbrecht (CGA)
Discus throw: Victor Hogan (BOLA)
Javelin throw: Rocco van Rooyen (WPA)
20km walk: Lebogang Shange (CGA)
Marathon: Lusapho April (EPA), Desmond Mokgobu (CGA), Sibusiso Nzima (CGA)

Women

100m: Carina Horn (AGN)
200m: Justine Palframan (BOLA)
800m: Caster Semenya (ACNW), Gena Lofstrand (ACNW)
1 500m: Semenya
400m hurdles: Wenda Nel (AGN)
Javelin throw: Sunette Viljoen (ACNW)
Marathon: Jenna Challenor (KZNA), Mapaseka Makhanya (CGA)
4x400m relay: Semenya, Palframan, Lofstrand, Wenda Nel, Ariane Nel (ACNW)

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