Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
27 Jul 2017
4:53 pm

Revealed: ASA’s shocking selection blunders

Wesley Botton

Athletics' local governing body has been dogged by their controversial selection criteria for the World Champs. We reveal just how bad it is.

Henricho Bruintjies is one of the athletes adversely affected by ASA's poor selection criteria. Photo: Roger Sedres/Gallo Images.

A document which details the decisions made by Athletics South Africa’s selectors is likely to blow open another lid on the controversial national team announcement for the IAAF World Championships in London next week.

Scarily, it reveals the logic behind the selection process was littered with factual flaws.

While five athletes who missed the stringent ASA qualifying standards were selected, another 13 were omitted despite achieving the international qualifying criteria.

This in spite of global body the IAAF offering to cover costs of all qualifiers.

Here are the reasons offered by ASA for leaving the athletes out, and why their reasoning is blatantly flawed:

Athlete affected: Henricho Bruintjies
ASA reason: The 100m sprinter, who held a season’s best of 10.06 seconds, is likely to need to run 9.99 to qualify for the semifinals.
Error: A time of 10.24 was required to reach the semifinals at the biennial World Championships in Beijing two years ago, and 10.23 was needed at last year’s Rio Olympics.

Athlete affected: Bruintjies
Reason: Bruintjies is ranked fourth in the country in the short sprint.
Error: While each country is limited to three entries in each discipline, Wayde van Niekerk had made himself unavailable for the 100m event.

Athletes affected: 400m hurdlers Cornel Fredericks, LJ van Zyl and Constant Pretorius
Reason: Youth athlete Sokwakhana Zazini has run faster than any of his senior compatriots this year.
Error: In Zazini’s age group the athletes compete over lower hurdles, making the U-18 event significantly faster than the senior discipline.

Athlete affected: Marc Mundell
Reason: Mundell is “not ranked in 2017” in his specialist event.
Error: The qualifying window in the 50km walk opened on January 1, 2016.

Athletes affected: Mundell, Dominique Scott (10 000m), Wayne Snyman (20km walk), Fredriech Pretorius (decathlon) and Anel Oosthuizen (20km walk)
Reason: They are unlikely to qualify for the semifinals by being ranked among the top 16 in the heats.
Error: They have qualified for straight finals and do not need to progress through preliminary rounds.

Athletes affected: Bruintjies, Fredericks, Van Zyl, Pretorius, Rynardt van Rensburg (800m), Alyssa Conley (200m) and Claudia Heunis (100m hurdles)
Reason: They are unlikely to qualify for the semifinals by being ranked among the top 16 in the heats.
Error: The IAAF changed its championship programmes some years ago to allow for 24 athletes to progress to the penultimate round.