'Athletics SA's tough selection standards are killing the sport'
Athletics SA’s notorious tough selection criteria will kill the sport in five years‚ the inquiry into SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) governance issues heard on Monday.
Former ASA president James Evans had claimed Sascoc had interfered in ASA from 2009 until 2014 when he was voted out for the current regime.
Asked by Dr Ali Bacher‚ one of three members of of the ministerial committee‚ why South Africa’s athletes were doing well‚ Evans replied:
“Those athletes were always around … this is the issue with current team selection‚ they only select people who’s going to win medals.
“But none of the athletes coming through — my concern at the moment is that in five years time we’re not going to have any athletes of this calibre left.”
Evans was making a clear reference to ASA’s stringent policy that saw 14 athletes who achieved the international qualifying standards for the 2017 world championships being left at home because they didn’t make ASA’s even tougher criteria.
Evans pointed out that Wayde van Niekerk‚ one of SA’s stars last year‚ had been selected for the 2013 world championships in Moscow simply as a future prospect‚ not as a medal contender.
“Wayde got knocked out in the first round in Moscow.
“He won the world championships after that‚ he’s now the world record holder.”
Van Niekerk won 400m gold at his next world championships‚ in Beijing in 2015‚ and broke the world record at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Sprinter Akani Simbine‚ who finished fifth at both the Rio Games and the 2017 world championships‚ was also a first-round loser at the 2013 world championships.
“We’ve got damn good athletes in this country‚ we’ve got damn good coaches and to a large extent the national federation is too weak to interfere directly with them‚” said Evans.
“I think that’s changing‚ I think they’re starting to interfere too directly. But the athletes were allowed to get on and do their own thing and because of that they’re doing well.
“I’m not saying we did anything right‚ all we did is we allowed people opportunities.
"I think they also performed in our day despite us rather than because of us and I think that’s been the message for a long‚ long time.”
Speaking to journalists after his testimony‚ Evans said ASA’s criteria had been “set by a madman”.
Apart from the stars‚ the fields at local athletics competitions were getting weaker and weaker.
“Where’s the second tier? They [ASA] don’t care‚ they’ve got Wayde.”
Anaso Jobodwana‚ Clarence Munyai‚ Henricho Bruintjies‚ Emile Erasmus (all men’s 4x100m relay‚ Stephen Mokoka (10‚000m)‚ Jaco Engelbrecht (shot put)‚ Tshepang Makhete (hammer throw)
Naveen Daries (artistic)‚ Grace Legote and Chris-Marie van Wyk (both rhythmic)
Rugby Sevens (men):
Tim Agaba‚ Philip Snyman‚ Dylan Sage‚ Kwagga Smith‚ Werner Kok‚ Kyle Brown‚ Branco du Preez‚ Rosko Specman‚ Justin Geduld‚ Cecil Afrika‚ Seabelo Senatla‚ Adriaan Nel‚ Siviwe Soyizwapi (travelling reserve).
TEAM OFFICIALS FOR TEAM SA
Team manager: Nonkululeko Mngadi
Head coach: Graham Hill
Coaches: Andrea di Nino‚ Rocco Meiring‚ Cedric Finch
Manager/coach (para-swimming): Theo Vorster; Coach (diving)‚ William Sherritt
Team manager: Peter Lourens
Coach (throws): Terseus Liebenberg‚ Coach (jumps); Reneilwe Aphane‚ Coach (middle distance); Samuel Sepeng
Coach (sprints/hurdles): Seef le Roux
Coach/manager: Stewart Carson
Coach: Mladeli Mngqhibisa
Coach/manager: Johannes Britz
Manager/coach: Elrick Kulsen
Coach (road): Bosseau Boshoff
Coach (track): Annerine Wenhold
Coach (MTB): Erica Groenewald
Mechanic (Road/MTB): Jean-Pierre Jacobs
Mechanic (track): Pieter Jansen
Manager/coach (artistic): Ilse Laing‚ coach (rhythmic); Tatiana Lavrentchouk-Vizer
Head coach: Mark Hopkins
Assistant coach: Cheslyn Gie
Video analyst: Nkuliso Zondi
Team manager: Marthinus van Staden
Head coach: Sheldon Rostron
Assistant coach: Kurt Cerfontyne
Video analyst: Wayne Hendricks
Team manager: Maryke Eloff
Manager/coach: Jessica Henderson
Directors (para): Annatjie van Rooyen‚ Graham Ward
Coach (men): Martinus Fraser
Coach (para-lawn bowls): Geoffrey Newcombe
Team manager: Nisha Rupnarain
Coaches: Norma Plummer‚ Nicole Cusack
Video analyst: Christy Mullender
Coaching intern (CGF): Dumisani Chauke
Rugby Sevens (men)
Coach: Neil Powell
Assistant coach: Renred Dazel
Team manager: Ashley Evert
Rugby Sevens (women)
Coach: Paul Delport
Team manager: Michelle English
Conditioning coach: John Meintjies
Coach/manager: Bernard de Beer
Coach: Lindsey Parry
Team manager: Kate Roberts
Coach/manager: Stephen Cupido
Coach/Manager: Nico Coetzee
Coaching intern (CFG): Mpho Madi
Coach: Andrew Ludik
Coach/manager: Anver Lyners
Chief medical doctor: Paul Maphoto
Doctors: Thulani Ngwenya‚ Tshegofatso Gaetsewe‚ Carolette Cloete‚ Crosby Mulungwa; Chief physiotherapist: Bafana Sihlali
Physiotherapists: Rannoa (Dan) Ntseke‚ Sergant Motha‚ Hugh Everson‚ Khuliso Netshivhangani‚ Corrine Sheppard‚ Danielle Munezero‚ Tarina van der Stockt‚ Ugendrie Govender‚ Narayani Pillay
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.