JOHANNESBURG – Olympic champion and world 400m record holder Wayde van Niekerk on Sunday pleaded with the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) to pick middle-distance runner Dominique Scott-Efurd for the Commonwealth Games.
“Sascoc please put @domscottrunSA (Scott-Efurd) in the Commonwealth team already please,” Van Niekerk tweeted on Sunday.
The 25-year-old Scott-Efurd was not part of the 169-member national team that was announced on January 30 by Sascoc for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia in April.
Her performances on the track have seen Scott-Efurd hailed as the best local long-distance prospect on the track since Elana Meyer, who famously won silver at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics in the 10 000m.
Scott-Efurd smashed her own SA record – by nearly 13 seconds – for the 3 000m indoor event at the NYRR Millrose Games in New York on Saturday, when she ran eight minutes 41.18 seconds (8:41.18).
Scott-Efurd finished third in the event narrowly behind winner Aisha Praught-Leer (8:41.10) and world champion in the 3 000m steeplechase Emma Coburn (8:41.16).
Since competing at the Rio Olympics in 2016, the multiple SA record holder – in the 800m, 1 500m and 3 000m indoors – would have found her non-selection for her country baffling.
Sascoc please put @domscottrunSA in the Commonwealth team already please. 🙏🏾
Scott-Efurd was not selected for the World Championships last year despite meeting the IAAF qualifying standard for the event, with ASA imposing their own qualifying standards.
Now, Scott-Efurd again will not be taking part in a major global athletics event, which could force her to reconsider her future.
Although born in Cape Town, Scott-Efurd moved to the USA when she turned 18, where she studied and competed for the University of Arkansas.
She has since married American Cameron Efurd and holds dual citizenship.
Since Van Niekerk has now brought Scott-Efurd’s non-selection into the spotlight, it will indeed be intriguing to see how exactly Sascoc will react, if at all.
African News Agency (ANA)