23 SA athletes qualify for Commonwealth Games

World championship champions Wayde van Niekerk.
World championship champions Wayde van Niekerk.

A total of 23 athletes have met the qualifying criteria set by Athletics SA (ASA) for the Commonwealth Games next year.

But six of them could fall foul of the standards demanded by the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc)‚ the body that gets to select the team.

They stipulated top 10 rankings in the Commonwealth‚ a feat achieved by 17 of the 23 named by ASA in their preliminary team on Thursday.

Topping the list are world championship champions Caster Semenya and Luvo Manyonga.

Wayde van Niekerk is not expected to be ready for competition after undergoing knee surgery before late in the 2018 season.

The Gold Coast Games are set for early April.

The six athletes ranked outside the top 10 include 200m world championship bronze medallist from 2015‚ Anaso Jobodwana‚ and world under-18 high-jump champion Breyton Poole.

The other four are Luxolo Adams (200m)‚ Stephen Mokoka (10000m)‚ Phil-Mar Janse van Rensburg (javelin) and Justine Palframan (400m).

ASA is keen to enter all the relays‚ which means the team size could increase if Sascoc agree.

South Africa has been allotted 99 spots for all individual sporting codes by the Commonwealth Games Federation‚ 25% less than their 131 entries at Glasgow 2014.

SA swimmers will attempt to qualify at their trials in Durban from Saturday until Friday next week. ASA’s preliminary team is:

Men: Akani Simbine (100m)‚ Anaso Jobodwana (100m)‚ Thando Roto (100m)‚ Luxolo Adams (200m)‚ Stephen Mokoka (10000m)‚ Antonio Alkana (110m hurdles)‚ Constant Pretorius (400m hurdles)‚ LJ van Zyl (400m hurdles)‚ Lebogang Shange (20km walk)‚ Wayde Snyman (20km walk)‚ Breyton Poole (high jump)‚ Luvo Manyonga (long jump)‚ Ruswahl Samaai (long jump)‚ Orazio Cremona (shot put)‚ Jaco Engelbrecht (shot put)‚ Victor Hogan (discus)‚ Tshepang Makhete (hammer throw)‚ Phil-Mar Janse van Rensburg (javelin).

Women: Carina Horn (100m)‚ Justine Palframan (400m)‚ Caster Semenya (800m and 1500m)‚ Wenda Nel (400m hurdles)‚ Sunette Viljoen (javelin).

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