World 800m champion Caster Semenya has been included in the provisional national team for this year’s World Athletics Championships, though 400m title holder Wayde van Niekerk will have to wait for a decision from Athletics South Africa’s (ASA) board before he gets the nod.
Semenya’s name was pencilled into a 30-member SA squad revealed on Monday.
Though she had been temporarily given the green light to compete in distances ranging from 400m to the mile (1.609km) until June 25, however, she would need to win her appeal against World Athletics’ (formerly the International Association of Athletics Federations) controversial gender regulations at the Swiss Supreme Court in order to defend her global two-lap crown in Doha in September.
Van Niekerk, meanwhile, was included in a nine-member additional provisional squad which featured athletes who had achieved the majority of the qualifying criteria but had not ticked one of the boxes.
Van Niekerk had competed only once in nearly two years, after recovering from a serious knee injury, and he missed the national championships in Germiston in April, which were held in wet conditions, as a precaution.
While he had already qualified for the global championships, receiving a wild card entry as the defending champion, he would first need the ASA executive’s approval, as participation at the national championships was a prerequisite to be considered for the team.
Aside from Van Niekerk, the likes of SA men’s 200m record holder Clarence Munyai and women’s 100m record holder Carina Horn were among those who also needed approval from the federation’s board, having withdrawn from the national championships due to injuries.
The 30-member provisional team, meanwhile, featured the likes of Commonwealth Games 100m champion Akani Simbine, and long jumpers Luvo Manyonga and Ruswahl Samaai, who had ticked all the necessary boxes to guarantee their places in the final squad.
Other athletes still had opportunities to qualify for the global spectacle, with the window closing on September 6.
Provisional SA team
Men: Akani Simbine (100m, 200m, 4x100m), Simon Magakwe (100m, 4x100m), Thapelo Phora (400m, 4x400m), Tshepo Tshite (800m), Antonio Alkana (110m hurdles), Ruan de Vries (110m hurdles), Lindsay Hanekom (400m hurdles), Thando Dlodlo (4x100m), Emile Erasmus (4x100m), Chederick van Wyk (4x100m), Sinesipho Dambile (4x100m), Anaso Jobodwana (4x100m), Gardeo Isaacs (4x400m), Ranti Dikgale (4x400m), Ashley Hlungwani (4x400m), Soks Zazini (4x400m), Pieter Conradie (4x400m), Jon Seeliger (4x400m), Luvo Manyonga (long jump), Ruswahl Samaai (long jump), Orazio Cremona (shot put), Stephen Mokoka (marathon), Desmond Mokgobu (marathon), Benedict Moeng (marathon), David Manja (marathon), Wayne Snyman (20km walk), Marc Mundell (50km walk).
Women: Caster Semenya (800m), Zeney van der Walt (400m hurdles), Dominique Scott (10 000m).