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Caster Semenya picked for Olympics

JOHANNESBURG -- Former world champion Caster Semenya made South Africa's initial team for the London Olympics, but double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius still hasn't run fast enough to earn a chance to make history at the games.

South Africa's Olympic committee said Wednesday's selection -- which didn't include Pistorius -- represented "the bulk" of the team to go to London. Some athletes can still qualify and be added ahead of the cutoff on June 30.

Semenya, the former 800-meter world title holder and 2011 world silver medalist, has met the criteria to run at her first Olympics and was one of the first names announced Wednesday.

Pistorius hasn't yet met the South African qualifying criteria. He needs one more time of 45.30 seconds or better in a 400-meter race at an international meet before the end of the month.

The 25-year-old Pistorius is scheduled to run at the Diamond League's adidas Grand Prix this weekend in New York, and the African Championships in June.

South African Olympic committee chief executive Tubby Reddy told The Associated Press his group wouldn't relax the qualifying criteria for Pistorius, who has met the Olympic qualifying time once this season. The national rules say he needs to do it again to make the team for the individual one-lap race and become the first amputee track athlete at the Olympics.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee said it would stand by its qualifying criteria, which has been criticized as too stringent, after South Africa returned just one medal at Beijing in 2008.

He missed the qualifying time in his first four international meets this season, in the Czech Republic, Netherlands and United States.

The 21-year-old Semenya is one of the country's leading medal hopes for London, three years after her stunning international debut at the worlds was overshadowed by controversial gender tests and an 11-month enforced layoff from competition. She was cleared to run in July 2010.

"We all know what a tough road she's had to tread to get this far," SASCOC president Gideon Sam said.

Reddy also said it was up to the national track federation, Athletics South Africa, to decide whether to take Pistorius as part of the 4x400 relay team. South Africa won silver in the 4x400 at the world championships last year, when Pistorius was controversially dropped for the final after running in the semifinal.

Athletics South Africa president James Evans said the 4x400 team would be picked on form.

"(It's) too early to say" whether Pistorius would make the relay team, Evans wrote in an email to the AP. "We will have to see what times the guys are running by the end of the month."