Track stars Wayde van Niekerk and Caster Semenya will join Olympic swimming champions Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh, as they spearhead a record 137-member national team at next month’s Rio Olympics.
The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) revealed the final SA squad on Thursday for the multi-sport Games.
The previous largest team to represent the country at the quadrennial showpiece was the 136-member squad at the 2008 Beijing Games, which returned with only one medal, and this year’s world-class contingent will be eager to improve on the six-medal haul achieved by the 125-member team at London 2012.
World 400m champion Van Niekerk and middle-distance star Semenya are the leading medal contenders in a 39-member athletics team.
Le Clos, meanwhile, will aim for four medals as he tries to become South Africa’s most decorated Olympian, joining Van der Burgh in anchoring a 12-member swimming squad in the pool.
Medal contenders in other codes include a full-strength rowing contingent, spearheaded by the men’s and women’s coxless pair boats, and the Blitzboks team, with rugby sevens making its debut at the quadrennial spectacle.
Olympic medal incentives – Gold, R400k athlete, R100k coach; Silver, R200k athlete, R50k coach; Bronze R80k athlete, 20k coach #RioGames
— Wesley Botton (@wesbotton) July 14, 2016
Golfers Jaco van Zyl and Brandon Stone will also be looking to spring a surprise in Rio, with many of the world’s best players giving the Games a miss, as the code returns to the programme for the first time in 112 years.
Sprinter Anaso Jobodwana and triathlete Richard Murray, both making comebacks after major injury setbacks, are perhaps the most promising of the team’s dark horses, both locked in a race against time to regain full fitness before the Games get under way on August 5.
Among those who missed out on selection are long jumper Zarck Visser, struggling to find his best form after returning from injury, as well as 400m hurdler Cornel Fredericks and 1 500m runner Johan Cronje, who both failed to achieve the qualifying standards in their events after battling with injuries.
While 800m specialist Andre Olivier hit the qualifying mark last season, he was unable to shake off the persistent niggle and opted out of the team.
Veteran freestyle sprinter Roland Schoeman missed out on the qualifying standard at the national swimming trials after chasing a record fifth appearance at the Games, and while marathon runner Hendrick Ramaala dipped under the required mark, chasing the same milestone as Schoeman over the classic distance, he was placed well down the long list of qualifiers, with only three spots available.
The national men’s and women’s hockey teams were also controversially left out, along with the women’s sevens rugby team, after Sascoc refused to allow most athletes and squads to qualify for the Games via African championships.
In-form discus thrower Victor Hogan was omitted from the final team after testing positive for the banned substance methylhexaneamine. Athletics SA president Aleck Skhosana confirmed the athlete’s A and B samples had found traces of the drug
Full SA team for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (5-23 August, 2016):
Women – Julia Vincent
Men – Chad Ho
Women – Michelle Weber
Men – Brad Tandy (50m freestyle), Doug Erasmus (50m freestyle), Chad le Clos (200m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, 4x100m medley, 4x200m freestyle), Myles Brown (400m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle), Matthew Meyer (1 500m freestyle), Chris Reid (100m backstroke, 4x100m medley), Cameron van der Burgh (100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke, 4x100m medley), Jarred Crous (200m breaststroke), Sebastian Rousseau (400m individual medley), Michael Meyer (400m individual medley), Calvyn Justus (4x100m medley, 4x200m freestyle), Dylan Bosch (4x100m medley, 4x200m freestyle)
100m – Akani Simbine, Henricho Bruintjies
200m – Anaso Jobodwana, Clarence Munyai, Gift Leotlela
400m – Wayde van Niekerk
800m – Jacob Rozani, Rynardt van Rensburg
5 000m – Elroy Gelant
10 000m – Stephen Mokoka
Marathon – Lusapho April, Sibusiso Nzima, Lungile Gongqa
110m hurdles – Antonio Alkana
400m hurdles – LJ van Zyl, Lindsay Hanekom, Le Roux Hamman
Long jump – Ruswahl Samaai, Luvo Manyonga, Stefan Brits
Triple jump – Khotso Mokoena
Javelin throw – Rocco van Rooyen
Decathlon – Willem Coertzen
20km walk – Lebogang Shange, Wayne Snyman
50km walk – Marc Mundell
100m – Carina Horn, Alyssa Conley
200m – Conley, Justine Palframan
400m – Justine Palframan, Tsholofelo Thipe
800m – Caster Semenya
10 000m – Dominique Scott
Marathon – Irvette van Zyl, Christine Kalmer, Lebo Phalula
400m hurdles – Wenda Nel
Long jump – Lynique Prinsloo
Javelin throw – Sunette Viljoen
20km walk – Anel Oosthuizen
Singles – Jacob Maliekal
K1, 500m – Bridgitte Hartley
Men – Daryl Impey, Louis Meintjes
Women – Ashleigh Moolman, An-Li Kachelhoffer
MTB cross country:
Men – Alan Hatherly, James Reid
Men – Kyle Dodd
Dressage (individual): Tanya Seymour/Ramoneur
Jody February, Itumeleng Khune, Ishmael Mngonyama, Rivaldo Coetzee, Tebogo Moerane, Mothibi Mvalo, Erick Mathoho, Tericious Malepe, Abbubaker Mobara, Gift Motupa, Maphosa Modiba, Menzi Masuku, Keagan Dolly, Tyroane Sandows, Lebogang Mothiba, Deolin Mekoa, Phumlani Ntshangase, Tashreeq Morris
Roxanne Barker, Andile Dlamini, Octavia Nogwanya, Lebohang Ramalepe, Nothando Vilakazi, Janine van Wyk, Noko Matlou, Bambanai Mbane, Mamello Makhabane, Amanda Dlamini, Refiloe Jane, Leandra Smeda, Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Linda Mothalo, Stephanie Malherbe, Robyn Moodaly, Sanah Mollo, Jermaine Seoposenwe
Men – Jaco van Zyl, Brandon Stone
Women – Paula Reto, Ashleigh Simon
Artistic – Ryan Patterson
U-90kg – Zack Piontek
Lightweight double sculls – James Thompson, John Smith
Coxless pair – Shaun Keeling, Lawrence Brittain
Coxless four – David Hunt, Vincent Breet, Jonty Smith, Jake Green
Lightweight double sculls – Ursula Grobler, Kirsten McCann
Coxless pair – Kate Christowitz, Lee-Ann Persse
Men – Tim Agaba, Kwagga Smith, Kyle Brown, Philip Snyman, Dylan Sage, Cheslin Kolbe, Rosko Specman, Cecil Afrika, Justin Geduld, Juan de Jongh, Werner Kok, Seabelo Senatla
Laser – Stefano Marcia
470 – Asenathi Jim, Roger Hudson
Men – Richard Murray, Henri Schoeman
Women – Mari Rabie, Gillian Sanders
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