While Athletics South Africa (ASA) claims to be rewarding excellence by lifting domestic qualifying standards for the IAAF World Championships in London next week, a bizarre scenario has resulted in athletes being omitted for performing too well.
Based on statistics lifted from the roadto.de website, which lists the athletes who have been invited by the IAAF in order to reach participation targets in the heats of various disciplines, further questions are raised about the selection process used by the national federation.
Athletes who achieve the required IAAF criteria and are not selected by their national federations are not considered for invites as target athletes.
ASA, however, has accepted all target invitations it has received for non-qualified athletes.
This means seven of the 14 athletes omitted from the SA team (who achieved the IAAF criteria but not the more stringent ASA standards) have been left stranded for running too fast, as they would have cracked the nod if they had not qualified at all.
Athlete: Henricho Bruintjies (100m)
Status: Qualified with a season’s best of 10.06.
Too fast: Had Bruintjies run between 10.13 and 10.18 he would be in the team.
Athlete: Rynardt van Rensburg (800m)
Status: Qualified with a season’s best of 1:45.73.
Too fast: Had Van Rensburg run between 1:45.91 and 1:46.09 he would be in the team.
Athletes: Cornel Fredericks, Constant Pretorius and LJ van Zyl (400m hurdles)
Status: Qualified as the fastest three South African men in their specialist discipline.
Too fast: Had Fredericks (49.27), Pretorius (49.28) and Van Zyl (49.29) run between 49.36 and 49.48 they would be in the team.
Athlete: Alyssa Conley (200m)
Status: Qualified with a season’s best of 22.94.
Too fast: Had Conley run between 23.11 and 23.26 she would be in the team.
Athlete: Dominique Scott-Efurd (5 000m)
Status: Qualified with a season’s best of 15:20.10.
Too fast: Had Scott-Efurd run between 15:22.01 and 15:22.85 she would be in the team.