Cape Town – As
momentum builds towards the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the current national
rankings provide an indication that the country’s top athletes are on target for
a promising campaign at the Gold Coast, Australia
The final South African team will depend largely on Commonwealth rankings based
on SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) criteria – and the athletes fitness.
The 2017 ASA rankings offer a clear
reflection that the national team is on track for a record charge.
The domestic summer season is already in full swing in the ASA provinces, which give
athletes multiple chances to qualify for the Games preliminary team to be
announced in January.
Many athletes are still fighting for places in the preliminary team – where a total
of 76 individuals (60 men and 16 women) performed better than the qualifying
standards in the various track and field disciplines between January and
September this year.
strongest disciplines in terms of depth are the men’s sprints, distance running
and throwing events.
total of 15 men have run faster than the Commonwealth standards this year over
Wayde van Niekerk led the way by achieving the
required marks in the 100m, 200m and 400m events, while there are 16 middle and
long distance runners who have dipped under the Games standards and 13 throwers who have surpassed the required marks.
other men to have shown potential for a place in the final Games team this
season include seven jumpers, five hurdlers, two decathletes and two race
the women, six sprinters have achieved the Commonwealth marks in their events
in 2017, along with three distance runners on the track.
Semenya has been the star performer this year and looks to have multiple
options available to her in the race for the final team after meeting the
required marks in the 400m, 800m and 1 500m events.
rest of the SA women in the hunt, based on their performances this season,
include three hurdlers, two throwers, one long jumper and a race walker.
African men have displayed tremendous depth, with athletes performing better
than the Games standard in 18 of 21 disciplines this season, while women have
been able to achieve the Commonwealth standards in 12 disciplines.
will chase the qualifying marks at 15 more meetings around the country before
the end of the year, in an attempt to be added to the 13-member preliminary
team announced by Athletics SA last month, ahead of Sascoc’s team announcement
for the Games.