ASA picks provisional indoor champs team for IAAF

2014-02-09 06:00

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Athletics South Africa (ASA) hopes to dispatch a full-strength track and field team to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland next month.

But it remains to be seen who, between the ASA interim committee and the embattled president James Evans, will register the team with the February 24 registration deadline looming.

The event runs from March 7 to 9.

The interim committee, led by KZN Athletics president Sello Mokoena, has already picked a provisional team of six athletes comprising of World Students Games sprint double champion Anaso Jobodwana, SA 3 000m indoor record holder Elroy Gelant, World Championships 1 500m bronze medallist Johan Cronje and national long jump champion Zarck Visser.

Others are Orazio Cremona (shot put) and Carina Horn (60m).

“The track and field commission sat and selected the provisional team,” said Mokoena. “We are just waiting for Andre Olivier (800m) who will be competing on February 15 in Birmingham (England) to try and qualify.”

But Evans argued that Mokoena and his committee cannot select the team as there is a pending court case between himself and five provincial affiliates.

He added that some interim board members were still suspended.

The interim board has been endorsed by the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) and the Sports Ministry, but not by the IAAF.

Meanwhile, Gelant will head to Poland with fond memories of Turkey 2012 where the 28-year-old ran 7:48.64, breaking the SA indoor record of 7:49.91 previously set by Juan van Deventer in February 2010.

The NWU-Pukke Athletics runner amended the record in France last weekend clocking 7:45.45.

He reached the 3 000m final in Turkey two years ago but came short in a strong field that had the world’s greatest distance runner, Mo Farah, who also finished outside the medals.

“Now that I’m already qualified, I’m racing on Sunday (today) in Gent, Belgium in the 3 000m. I will be looking for a good time going towards the indoors,” Gelant told City Press this week from Holland were he had set up a training base.

South Africa is ranked 30th in the world indoors all-time medal table with eight medals – three gold and silver apiece, and two bronze – since former 800m star Johan Botha picked up the country’s first global indoor medal at the Japan 1999 edition.


» SA at World Indoors


Khotso Mokoena long jump (Spain 2008); Mbulaeni Mulaudzi 800m (Hungary 2004); Johan Botha 800m (Japan 1999)


Mokoena long jump (Doha 2010); Mulaudzi 800m (Spain 2008, Russia 2006)


Shaun Bownes 60m hurdles (Spain 1995); Okkert Brits pole vault (Portugal 2001)

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