SA team for Korea | SASCOC - SASCOC

SA team for Korea

By Mark Etheridge

Athletics South Africa on Saturday named a 21-strong provisional team for the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea later this year.

The squad consists of 16 men and just five women. Our two 2009 world champions, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and Caster Semenya, both qualified automatically because of their respective wins in the 800m in Berlin two years ago.

In terms of medal chances both these athletes will stand a chance of succesfully defending their titles, despite neither of them dominating their events in the build-up to the championships thus far.

But with the 800m featuring so many variables, they’ll both have to concentrate on getting through the qualifying stages before giving it their all.

On paper our best medal hope would appear to lie with in-form 400m hurdler LJ van Zyl who has shown a new lease of life this season and has dominated his event with the world’s four fastest times this year. It all seems set up for him but he will also know that anything can happen in the qualifying rounds.

And fellow 400m hurdler Cornel Fredericks is also very definitely in with a chance, despite having lived in Van Zyl’s shadow this year. Apart from Van Zyl only three other hurdlers have gone quicker this year.

In the field events both Robert Oosthuizen, who qualified for World’s back in February already and Sunette Viljoen are in with a chance. Oosthuizen’s best this year is the 84.38m he threw in Doha in May and only 12 men have bettered his mark this year.

Viljoen has been nicely consistent, over the 60m mark and her 61.74 in Paris earlier this month means that only 11 of her rivals have thrown further than her. And fellow Potchefstroom athlete Justine Robbeson’s best this year is not far behind Viljoen either.

Then there’s the veteran and the youngster in the long jump, in the shape of 2008 Olympic silver medallist Khotso Mokoena and world juior champion Luvo Manyonga who have bests this year of 8.25 and 8.26m respectively. Either or both of them could medal on the day. Man to beat will be Australian Mitchell Watts who has four of the top 10 best jumps this year.

Commenting on the team, ASA acting chairman James Evans said: “This provisional team is a competitive one. It’s futile to make predictions about how many medals will be won, as over 200 countries are competing for those same medals. The intention must be to be competitive and the results will take care of themselves.”

Evans also said that this team was by no means final. “The door is still open to any athletes who meet the criteria before the closing date in August. The athletes who have achieved the B standard may still be displaced by those who outrank them by then, so there is still the opportunity to make the team for those who can produce the performances.

The provisional team for World Championships:
Men: Simon Magakwe (100m), Thuso Mpuang (100m, 200m), Wade van Niekerk (200m), Lebogang Moeng (200m, 400m), Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (800m), Elroy Gelant (5000m), Stephen Mokoka (10,000m), Ruben Ramolefi (3000m steeplechase), Lehann Fourie (110m hurdles ÔÇô subject to ratification as he is injured), Cornel Fredericks (400m hurdles), LJ van Zyl (400m hurdles), Luvo Manyonga (long jump), Khotso Mokoena (long jump), Tumelo Tagane (triple jump), Robert Oosthuizen (javelin), Willem Coertzen (decathlon)

Women: Caster Semenya (800m), Wenda Theron (400m hurdles), Simone de Toit (shot put), Justine Robbeson (javelin), Sunette Viljoen (javelin)

Fast Guy
Fast Guy

Did anyone notice that since Stander left the office there are no complains to SASCOC? Ha! Maybe Stander will be back soon after the ASA elections... Well done Oscar and the men relay team on qualifying too


I must say that under the new board ASA has selected better teams which has shown better results. Well done man. If you look at the Juniors and Youth so far, the selection is definitely better than a year ago and has produced results. I hope whoever is the new President follows this trend and sends bigger teams. If you are not competing in an event you have no chance of a medal. Some of our athletes made huge improvements on the big stage because they had the opportunity. Those that should be cut are the proven non-performers and thats the way foward not the way the last years teams were selected. I hope we can regain our number 1 spot in Africa and this can only be achieved through sending athletes to compete in all events. We will walk away with the competition if we do but if we select a small team we will only get medals in those events. Well done to those who qualified for Daegu