JOHANNESBURG – The track and field euphoria of the last three years has made way for uncertainty on the eve of the IAAF World Championships in Doha at the end of the month.
The absence of Caster Semenya and Wayde van Niekerk is not only a severe blow to South Africa’s medal hopes at the global showpiece but exposes the lack of depth.
The country will rely heavily on long jumpers Luvo Manyonga and Ruswahl Samaai and South African 100m record holder Akani Simbine.
The trio has been South Africa’s top-performing track and field athletes this season, and they are expected to be the country’s top medal contenders in Doha.
The deadline for qualification expired at midnight on Friday where only 14 athletes - 11 men and three women - achieved Athletics SA’s (ASA) stringent standards. But ASA is expected to add more names to the list including athletes that have met the B-qualifying standards - the IAAF’s criteria - and relay teams.