Long wait for world's fastest man

MELBOURNE, March 1 (AFP) - World 400-metres hurdles champion Jana Pittman and Australia’s fastest sprinter Patrick Johnson are notable absentees in the initial track and field team for the Athens Olympics announced here on Monday.
Tough selection criteria imposed by AthleticsAustralia (AA) meant that Pittman and Johnson, whomissed last weekend’s selection trials, will have toprove their form and fitness and wait until July 4before being formally added to the team.
They missed their favoured events at the Sydney trialsthrough injury or illness, although Pittman ran animpressive split time of 51.8 seconds in the 4x400m relay on Sunday.
Selectors on Monday added seven additional athletes tothose qualified from the trials in the initial AthensOlympic team.
Ten athletes, including former world pole vaultchampion Dmitri Markov, were guaranteed berths in theteam after meeting the performance criteria at thetrials.
Selectors decided that Adam Miller (men’s 200m), KrisMcCarthy (men’s 800m), Craig Mottram (men’s 5,000m), WilliamHamlyn-Harris and Oliver Dziubak (men’s javelin), TamsynLewis (women’s 800m) and Haley McGregor (women’s 10,000m) had also done enough to make the squad.
The marathon runners and additional walkers will benamed on May 21.
AA expects the final team for Athens to number about45 athletes.

Australia - Men: Adam Miller (200m), Clinton Hill(400m), Casey Vincent (400m), Kris McCarthy (800m),Craig Mottram (5,000m), Dmitri Markov (pole vault),Steven Hooker (pole vault), William Hamlyn-Harris(javelin), Oliver Dziubak (javelin), Justin Anlezark(shot put), Nathan Deakes (50km walk).
Women: Tamsyn Lewis (800m), Benita Johnson (10,000m),Haley McGregor (10,000m), Kym Howe (pole vault), BronwynEagles (hammer throw), Jane Saville (20km walk).

By John Salvado
MELBOURNE, March 1 AAP - The Australian selectorsshowed faith in experienced 800m runners Tamsyn Lewisand Kris McCarthy by including them in the initialOlympic team today.
And they expect that faith to be rewarded.
Lewis and McCarthy won the women’s and men’s 800mnational titles during the four-day trials which endedyesterday, albeit in unremarkable times.
But the selectors were convinced that knowing theywere definitely going to Athens would spur them on.
The feeling was that they ran dominant races at thechampionships, they ran like they really wanted to be onthe team,'' chairman of selectors David Culbert said. Their best chance to perform in Athens was to namethem now.’’

Lewis has been told she is expected to reach the 800mfinal, while the minimum target for 2002 CommonwealthGames bronze medallist McCarthy is the Olympicsemi-finals.
They both agreed with that,'' said Culbert. I wouldn’t think we’d be as generous for the worldchampionships next year if they don’t perform.’’
Both had bettered the A standard last year.
The selectors used their discretion to add Lewis,McCarthy and another five athletes today to the 10automatic qualifiers from the trials.
Adam Miller (200m), William Hamlyn-Harris and OliverDziubak (javelin) and Haley McGregor (10,000m) will allbe making their Olympic debuts, while 5,000m runnerCraig Mottram was rewarded for a string of impressivedisplays since overcoming a serious leg injury.
Mottram was really in a category of his own,'' saidCulbert. With the other four, our thinking was that they wonat the trials and they had done the A qualifier duringthe season, so we should pick them now.
``What more could they do to get on the team?’’

Walker Luke Adams was overlooked in the 20km race,despite finishing fifth at last year’s worldchampionships.
He was marked down for finishing nearly three minutesbehind dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist NathanDeakes at the trials.
World 400m hurdles champion Jana Pittman, sprint starsMatt Shirvington and Patrick Johnson and hammer throwerDebbie Sosimenko will have to wait until July 4 beforebeing formally added to the team after missing their petevents at the trials through injury or illness.
The marathon runners and additional walkers will benamed on May 21.
Athletics Australia expects the final team to numberabout 45.
Lewis, who will go to her second Olympics 10 yearsafter being the baby of the 1994 Commonwealth Gamessquad, was also excited by the prospects of the 4x400mrelay team, despite the retirement of Cathy Freeman.
We've lost Freeman obviously and that's a very hardleg to cover, but the way Jana's been running she cancome pretty close to covering Freeman's leg,'' she said. She also nominated Lauren Hewitt, rising starAnnabelle Smith and herself as contenders. And there’s a few other girls coming through … topush us out of the team,’’ said Lewis.
``So it’s a very strong team and like the men’s 4x4, agood chance of a medal.’’
The relay squads will be confirmed in mid-July, withonly the top 16 ranked nations getting berths.