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Athletics

Lower qualifying standards, but smaller Commonwealth team

10 December 2017 - 00:00 By DAVID ISAACSON

South Africa's qualifying standards for the 2018 Commonwealth Games are exactly half as tough as last time around, but the team size will be three-quarters of four years ago.
The Commonwealth Games Federation had allotted 99 individual spots to South Africa for athletics, swimming, lawn bowls and other non-team codes, SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) president Gideon Sam said this week.
At Glasgow 2014, South Africa's individual codes numbered 131.
Sascoc will have the final say.
Track and field athletes have their final shot at qualifying in Cape Town on Friday. Swimmers have their trials in Durban from Saturday until December 22.
The bodies running athletics and swimming have issued stipulated qualifying times, while Sascoc has said all competitors must be ranked in the top 10 of the Commonwealth. In 2014, it was top five.
There is no guaranteed qualification and as a result, there are whispers within track and field of athletes not bothering to qualify - especially after the controversial selections for the athletics world championships earlier this year when Athletics SA (ASA) unleashed their own tougher qualifying standards and omitted 14 athletes who had qualified on the lower international criteria.
Before yesterday's meet in Parow, 20 athletes had achieved ASA's standards, although three of them are ranked outside the top 10 of the Commonwealth - sprinter Anaso Jobodwana, distance veteran Stephen Mokoka and under-18 high jump world champion Breyton Poole. A further three - sprinter Thando Roto and 400m hurdlers LJ van Zyl and Constant Pretorius - have met ASA's qualifying times, but they have not been named in ASA's preliminary team...

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