Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
3 minute read
3 Jul 2022
2:33 pm

The Class of 2016: A generation of Olympic stars gone too soon

Wesley Botton

Rio gold medallists Wayde van Niekerk and Caster Semenya are shadows of their former selves on the international circuit.

Henri Schoeman, Cameron van der Burgh, Chad le Clos and Caster Semenya at a welcome ceremony for the SA team after the 2016 Rio Olympics. Picture: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Less than six years after South Africa raked in a historic 10 medals at the Rio Olympics, there has been a complete changing of the guard, and if the SA team are going to secure podium places at the 2024 Paris Games, they will have to turn to a new breed of younger stars. At the 2016 Rio Games the squad was superb, and with most of the medallists ranging between the ages of 23 and 25, the future looked bright in Olympic codes. Now, however, as we look ahead to Paris, those performances are little more than distant memories....