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The 2016 Rio Olympics is still a ways off, but South African breasts can already swell with pride as we look to our olympic hopefuls who have already qualified to represent us at this celebrated athletics event.

If this weekend’s Free State Championships are anything to go by, then the rainbow nation will truly represent this year. Take Wayde van Niekerk for instance. Although the 400 m world champion had not run a 100 m sprint in five years, he took to the track at the weekend – becoming the first man in history to achieve times of under 10 seconds for the 100 m, under 20 seconds for the 200 m and under 44 seconds for the 400 m.

Rules for Olympic qualification and participation

Firstly, let’s look at the rules for South Africans entering for the Olympics.

Eligibility for Olympic qualification

For a South African athlete who wants to enter they need to satisfy the following criteria:

  • Be a South African citizen with a valid South African passport with a six month minimum expiry at the end of the games.
  • Have been a resident of South Africa for the last two years prior to selection or have been granted written exemption by the National Federation to participate while residing elsewhere.
  • Be a member in good standing with SASCOC and the National Federation.
  • Not be under investigation or suspension prior to, during qualification or after the qualifying selection period.
  • Not have competed for any country other than South Africa for a three year period prior to consideration for selection for any multi-coded SASCOC event.
  • Adhere to and comply with all provisions of the Olympic Charter.
  • Adhere to and comply with all SASCOC and National Federation rules, regulations constitution and directives.
  • Have competed at the NF’s National Champions in 2014 or 2015 unless exempted from participation for medical reasons.

Age requirement

  • Junior athletes: athletes aged 18 or 19 years on 31 December 2016 (born 1997 or 1998). The only exclusions are the marathon and 50 km race walk.
  • Youth athletes: athletes aged 16 or 17 years on 31 December 2016 (born 1999 and 2000). Exclusions are the throwing events, hepathlon, decathlon, 10 000 m, marathon and race walk.

Athletic selection criteria

In order to qualify for Olympic events, athletes must obtain the following qualification standards within the period starting 1 May 2015 and ending 11 July 2016. There is different qualifying criteria for non-athletic events.

  • 100 m: Women – 11.32, Men – 10.16
  • 200 m: Women – 23.20, Men 20.50
  • 400 m: Women – 52, Men 45.4
  • 800 m: Women – 2:01.00, Men 1:45.80
  • 1 500 m: Women – 4:06.00, Men – 3:36.00
  • 5 000 m: Women – 15:30.00, Men 13:25.00
  • 10 000 m: Women – 32:15.00, Men 28:00.00
  • Marathon: Women – 2:42:00.00, Men – 2:17:00.00
  • 3 000 m SC: Women – 9:45.00, Men – 8:38.00
  • 100 mH/110 mH: Women: 13.00, Men – 13.47
  • 400 mH: Women – 56.20, Men – 49.40
  • High jump: Women – 1.94, Men 2.29
  • Pole vault: Women – 4.50, Men – 5.70
  • Long jump: Women – 6.70, Men – 8.15
  • Triple jump: Women – 14.20, Men – 16.90
  • Shot put: Women – 17.80, Men – 20.50
  • Discus: Women – 61.00, Men – 66.00
  • Hammer: Women – 71.00, Men – 78:00
  • Javelin: Women – 62.00, Men – 83.00
  • Hepathlon/decathlon: Women – 6 200, Men – 8 100.
  • 20 km race walk: Women – 1:35:00.00, Men – 1:24:00.00
  • 50 km race walk: Men – 4:03:00.00
  • 4 x 100 m: Women – top 8 at IWR, Men – top 8 at IWR
  • 4 x 400m: Women – top 8 at IWR, Men – top 8 at IWR

Team SA at Rio

The final South African team for Rio will be announced at a later date, as there is still time to qualify for the event. But we can take a look at our preliminary team and the events we have qualified for so far. Each country is allowed a set quota of athletes per event based on their qualifying times, distances, weight or accuracy. South Africa has thus far achieved qualifying standards for the following events:

Athletics

  • Men’s 100 m –Henricho Bruintjies, Akani Simbine, Anaso Jobodwana
  • Men’s 200 m – Anaso Jobodwana, Wayde van Niekerk, Akani Simbine
  • Men’s 400 m –Wayde van Niekerk
  • Men’s 800 m –André Olivier, Reinhardt van Rensburg
  • Men’s 5000 m – Stephen Mokoka
  • Men’s 10000 m – Stephen Mokoka, Gladwin Mzazi
  • Men’s 110 m hurdles – Antonio Alkana
  • Men’s 400 m hurdles – L. J. van Zyl, Cornel Fredericks
  • Men’s marathon – 3 quota places
  • Men’s 20 km walk – Lebogang Shange
  • Men’s 50 km walk – Marc Mundell
  • Men’s long jump – Zarck Visser, Godfrey Khotso Mokoena
  • Men’s triple jump – Godfrey Khotso Mokoena
  • Men’s javelin throw – Rocco van Rooyen
  • Men’s decathlon – Willem Coertzen
  • Women’s 100 m – Carina Horn
  • Women’s 400 m – Justine Palframan
  • Women’s 800 m – Caster Semenya
  • Women’s 10.000 m – Dominique Scott
  • Women’s 400 m hurdles – Wenda Nel
  • Women’s marathon – 3 quota places
  • Women’s javelin throw – Sunette Viljoen

Canoeing

  • Women’s K1 500 m

Mountain biking

  • Men’s cross-country – James Reid
  • Women’s cross-country – Bianca Haw

Dressage

  • Individual

Football

  • Men’s U-23 team
  • Women’s team event

Rowing

  • Men’s pair
  • Men’s lightweight double sculls
  • Women’s pair
  • Women’s lightweight double sculls

Rugby sevens

  • Men’s team event

Sailing

  • Men’s laser
  • Men’s 470

Swimming

  • Men’s 50m freestyle – 2 quota places
  • Men’s 100 m freestyle – 1 quota place
  • Men’s 200 m freestyle – Chad le Clos, Myles Brown
  • Men’s 400 m freestyle – Myles Brown
  • Men’s 100 m breaststroke – Cameron van der Burgh
  • Men’s 200 m butterfly – 2 quota places

Triathlon

  • Men’s triathlon – Richard Murray

We are looking forward to seeing even more safas represent us at the Olympics this year and are holding thumbs for team SA.