An important question needs to be asked following Athletics South Africa’s controversial selection process for the IAAF World Championships: why are administrators treating elite athletes with such disdain?
Firstly, the federation set their own standards that were far more stringent than the criteria laid out by international officials, claiming they were rewarding excellence.
However, to omit a total of 14 qualified athletes does not offer any further reward to those who were selected.
Secondly, the federation remains unable to offer any reasonable logic as to why it selected a handful of athletes who failed to meet the criteria – and not the rest.
By giving athletes opportunities, they will assist in motivating younger athletes back home and they will offer valuable experience to the nation’s elite.
By leaving athletes out, they stand a chance of losing talented young prospects to other sports and demotivating the country’s top athletes.
More than anything, the selection process they have followed proves that the ASA is more concerned about which athletes they can snub in an exclusive process, rather than attempting to grow the sport by making inclusive decisions.
By taking this approach, the federation will produce the opposite results of what they should be trying to achieve. Get your act together, ASA.