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Athletics | SA Track & Field

Caster Semenya © Gallo Images

Semenya left out of provisional team



Olympic silver medallist Caster Semenya has been left out of South Africa's provisional track and field squad for next month's IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.

Athletics SA (ASA) announced a provisional 30-member squad for the global showpiece to be held from August 10 to 18.

Semenya, however, still has 10 days to meet the 2:00.00 qualifying standard before the July 29 deadline.

The 2009 women's 800m world champion won her first competitive race on Wednesday night, since last year's London Olympic Games.

She clocked a pedestrian 2:06.58 at the Lahti Games in Finland after recovering from a long-term knee injury.

The team, consisting of 22 track and field athletes, six marathoners and two race walkers, includes 15 athletes who have met the IAAF A standard for the track and field programme.

The three long-jumpers who will represent the country at the global showpiece are Olympic silver medallist Khotso Mokoena, Zarck Visser and Lynique Prinsloo.

Mokoena is ranked sixth in the world following his sterling 8.30m effort in Bad Langensalza, Germany, in June.

Visser is ranked seventh in the world with his personal best jump of 8.29m at the national championships in April.

Sprinting sensation and double World Student Games gold medallist Anaso Jobodwana has been the pick of the South African athletes so far this season, qualifying for the men's 100m and 200m in emphatic fashion.

The 20-year-old clocked personal bests of 20.13 seconds in the 200m and 10.10 seconds in the 100m this season, to threaten both national sprint records.

Jobodwana is likely to be joined by the exciting new talent Akani Simbine, who set a new national junior 100m record in December last year.

African 100m champion Simon Magakwe was not available for selection owing to injury. Simbine will secure his berth if no other athlete achieves a faster B standard before July 28.

As has become customary, a full complement of men's 400m hurdlers have met the A standard, with 2011 finalists LJ van Zyl and Cornel Fredericks being joined by PC Benecke.

In the women's 400m hurdles, Anneri Ebersohn was chosen over training partner Wenda Nel as she is the South African champion. While both had achieved the B standard, only one B-standard achiever is permitted per event.

Similarly, in the men's shot put, the selectors went with the national champion Orazio Cremona chosen above Jaco Engelbrecht.

Olympian Andre Olivier, who has shown superb form at the IAAF Diamond League meetings this season, will line up in the 800m.

The team includes national record holders Johan Cronje (1 500m), Willem Coertzen (decathlon), Lehann Fourie (110m hurdles), Chris Harmse (hammer throw) and Sunette Viljoen (javelin throw).

African discus throw champion Victor Hogan and national 400m champion, Wade van Niekerk, complete the athletes who have achieved the A qualifying standard.

World Student Games gold medallist Stephen Mokoka has achieved the B standard in the 10 000m, joining Elroy Gelant (5 000m), Robert Oosthuizen (javelin throw) and Justine Palframan (200m) as athletes who will be added to the final team provided no-one betters their B standard achievements.

The final team will be confirmed on July 29, giving athletes who have not yet qualified a last opportunity to do so.

The marathon team is a mix of experience and youth, with national champion and new road running revelation Cornelia Joubert joining Olympians Irvette van Zyl and Tanith Maxwell in the women's team.

Rene Kalmer was unavailable for selection.

The men's team includes former New York Marathon winner and multiple national record holder Hendrick Ramaala.

With Mokoka's decision to concentrate on the 10 000m, Ramaala is the second fastest during the qualifying period. He is joined by Lusapho April and Sibusiso Nzima.

Two race walkers, Olympian Marc Mundell and Lebogang Shange, will take part in the 50km and 20km events respectively.



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