Top athletes in limbo for champs

27 July 2017 - 09:27 By David Isaacson
Victor Hogan of South Africa in the qualification round of the mens discus during day 6 of the 2015 IAAF World Championships at National Stadium on August 27, 2015 in Beijing, China.
Victor Hogan of South Africa in the qualification round of the mens discus during day 6 of the 2015 IAAF World Championships at National Stadium on August 27, 2015 in Beijing, China.
Image: Roger Sedres/Gallo Images

Controversial in-out discus thrower Victor Hogan could find himself competing at the world championships in London next month after all.

But it looks like it is game over for the 14 athletes who were omitted by Athletics SA (ASA), despite achieving qualifying standards set by the world governing body, the IAAF.

That is according to an unofficial website that tracks the selections, omissions and rankings of athletes globally.

ASA had said the 14 athletes could still get to London through quota invitations but the site suggests otherwise, listing all non-selected athletes as out of contention for quota spots.

The IAAF sets a target number of entrants for each discipline, ranging from 56 in the 100m and 200m to 32 in the field events. When those numbers are not reached, the highest-ranked eligible athletes are invited.

Could ASA have made such a crucial mistake?

Well, it would not be the federation's first error in recent days.

ASA had initially chosen Hogan for the team, thinking he had achieved the IAAF qualifying standard, when in fact he had not.

Then the federation said he qualified as the reigning African champion, only for the IAAF to reject this because Hogan had been stripped of the title after a doping offence.

Hogan, according to the unofficial list, is ranked 28th in the world, high enough to get him a quota invitation.

His ban ended last month.

There could also be an invitation coming for 100m hurdler Rikenette Steenkamp, who missed the IAAF qualifier by one-hundredth of a second.

Dominique Scott, omitted by ASA in the 5000m, is close to invitation territory in the 1500m.

ASA imposed its own qualifying standards that were tougher than the IAAF's.

A total of 38 SA athletes achieved the IAAF standards, but only 18 managed the ASA criteria.

Of the other 20, ASA picked six - five on discretion and one as a member of the 4x400m relay team. A further three athletes were added for the relay.

ASA has said its tough criteria are aimed at lifting standards and ensuring athletes can advance to the semifinals and finals at the world championships.

But Henricho Bruintjies, omitted from the 100m despite his 10.06 season's best, would have been ranked about 18th at the world championships, suggesting he would easily make the top 24 for the semifinals.

He made the semifinals at the last championships in Beijing in 2015.

An IAAF spokesman said the quota invitations were "expected to be concluded by the end of this week".

The SA team so far is:
Men:

Akani Simbine (100m, 200m),

Thando Roto (100m),

Wayde van Niekerk (200m, 400m),

Clarence Munyai (200m),

Pieter Conradie (400m),

Stephen Mokoka (10000m),

Lusapho April,

Desmond Mokgobu, Sibusiso Nzima (all marathon),

Antonio Alkana (110m hurdles),

Luvo Manyonga,

Ruswahl Samaai,

Zarck Visser (all long jump),

Orazio Cremona,

Jaco Engelbrecht (both shot put),

Rocco van Rooyen (javelin),

Lebogang Shange (20km race walk).


Women:

Carina Horn (100m),

Justine Palframan (200m, 4x400m),

Caster Semenya (800m, 1500m, 4x400m),

Gena Lofstrand (800m, 4x400m),

Jenna Challenor,

Mapaseka Makhanya (both marathon),

Wenda Nel (400m hurdles, 4x400m),

Sunette Viljoen (javelin),

Zoe Engler and

Ariane Nel (both 4x400m)

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