Caster Semenya in action. Picture: KARIM JAAFAR / AFP
Caster Semenya in action. Picture: KARIM JAAFAR / AFP

Caster Semenya is one of only three women named in SA’s preliminary squad for the world championships in Doha from September 27 to October 6.

Semenya’s participation at the showpiece will depend on her appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal against the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to allow the gender eligibility rules drafted by the IAAF‚ the world governing body for athletics.

Semenya is the defending women’s 800m champion and 1,500m bronze medallist from London 2017. Athletics SA on Monday named a 30-strong preliminary squad for the Qatar meeting‚ of which only 10% are women.

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Young 400m hurdler Zeney van der Walt and distance runner Dominique Scott are the only other women in the squad.

Olympic silver medallist Sunette Viljoen has yet to achieve the qualifying standard.

Wayde van Niekerk‚ the two-time 400m champion‚ was not named in the squad‚ but was on a separate list of nine athletes who need board approval for selection because they missed the SA championships in Germiston in April. The national competition was a mandatory requirement for selection‚ but Van Niekerk — and most of the others — withdrew because of injury concerns. At least one did not make it because of study commitments in the US.

Three of the nine are women — Carina Horn‚ Justine Palframan and Rikentte Steenkamp.

Viljoen and Wenda Nel are on a third list of athletes who have not yet qualified but will be monitored.

“A total of 40 athletes who have achieved the qualifying standards in their events have been included in the provisional squad‚ and they have been split into two groups‚ with 30 individuals who have met all the criteria and 10 others who have not ticked all the boxes to guarantee their places in the final team‚” Athletics SA said.

But the fact is that it is a total of 39 athletes‚ and nine in the latter group‚ because Athletics SA‚ in its media release named only nine athletes‚ numbering them from one to 10 but leaving out No7.