Magakwe's woes see Blade Runner sprinting to Games
The Times Editorial: The South African Olympic Committee had to complete its four-yearly juggling act this week and, inevitably, there were some disappointments.
Sprinter Simon Magakwe losing out on a place in Team SA was the biggest. The poor man has run six 100m qualifying times, but these were not good enough because all six times were recorded in South Africa.
His omission is the fault of a selection policy by the national Olympic committee that was too harsh on some individuals.
At the same time, the committee showed some imagination in getting Oscar Pistorius on board.
The Blade Runner did not strictly qualify to run as an individual in the 400m, but because South Africa is sending a 4x400m relay team - and Pistorius is the fastest of the four going to London - it opened a door that remained shut for Magakwe.
South Africa would have been seen as mean- spirited if it had not included Pistorius, who has been one of the faces marketing the 2012 Olympics ever since London was awarded the Games.
The phenomenon of Pistorius should enhance an Olympic Games that is shaping up as one of the most competitive in history.
For example, the 100m sprint - always a highlight - is no longer the domain of one man, as it was four years ago in Beijing with Usain Bolt. Now, any one of five of the world's leading sprinters can win it.
Similarly, Michael Phelps, who dominated the pool in Beijing, now faces his toughest competition from compatriot Ryan Lochte.
The women's 800m is shaping into a cracker with Caster Semenya nearing her best form and ready to challenge the reigning Olympic champion, Pamela Jelimo of Kenya, and the in-form Russian Mariya Savinova.
As the Games draw near there is the usual paranoia about terror attacks and the like, but the biggest fear of London 2012 will be the English weather. May it shine on all.