Oscar picked, Caster out

2011-08-25 11:52
Oscar Pistorius (Gallo)

Johannesburg - South Africa picked double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius in its team for the All Africa Games on Thursday, giving him another chance to prove himself against able-bodied athletes ahead of next year's Olympics.

Pistorius will make history in Daegu, South Korea as the first amputee athlete to compete at a world championships and will then travel straight to the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique, which run September 3-18.

The 24-year-old Pistorius clocked a personal-best 45.07 in the 400m last month to force his way into South Africa's team for the worlds, but still needs to qualify for the London Games to fulfill his ambition of competing at the Olympics.

South Africa also included swimmers Roland Schoeman and Cameron van der Burgh in a group of more than 200 athletes in 18 sports for the African games. Multiple paralympic champion Natalie du Toit was in the para-swimming team.

Women's 800m champion Caster Semenya, who defends her title in Daegu, was not included, but junior long jump world champion Luvo Manyonga and Commonwealth javelin champion Sunette Viljoen were picked.

However, South Africa's participation in the men's football event in Maputo is in doubt after some of the country's Premier Soccer League clubs refused to release their players for the Games.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee said the national football association had until the end of Thursday to submit names of the players "or face expulsion from Team South Africa for the All Africa Games 2011."

South Africa finished third on the medal table at the last All Africa Games in Algiers in 2007, behind Egypt and host Algeria.


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