Congratulations Team SA!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Government has congratulated Team SA on its performance at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships.

Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Susan Shabangu, on Tuesday congratulated Caster Semenya on winning the women’s 800m gold medal at the championships in London on Sunday.

With this win, the athlete broke her own 800m record and secured her third world championship title. Last week, Semenya also won the women’s 1 500m bronze medal at the championships.

“In this month of August, wherein we celebrate the courageous women of 1956, let us also celebrate the successes of brave South African women like Caster Semenya, who keep on flying the South African flag high,” said Minister Shabangu.    

Minister Shabangu said the gold medallist’s victory is of particular significance because of her determination, resilience and focus, despite the challenges that she has faced throughout her career.

Meanwhile, Sport and Recreation Minister Thulas Nxesi congratulated Team SA on their six medal tally at the championships that concluded on Sunday.

Team South Africa obtained six medals comprising three gold, one gold and two bronze.

South Africa came third in the IAAF World Championships medals table. South Africa follows the United States, who acquired 30 medals and Kenya 11.

“Congratulations are in order to the entire team, including Caster Semenya as she continued to carry our flag high in adding to our gold medal tally in the 800m women’s final and further by collecting a bronze medal in the 1 500m women’s final, serving as a great ambassador for all our woman athletes,” said Minister Nxesi.

The Minister said Semenya’s achievements couldn’t have come at a better time as the country continues to commemorate Women’s Month.

“I also take this opportunity to further congratulate the following athletes for flying our flag high and for ensuring that we ended up in the top three in the medal standings in the IAAF World Championships: our golden boy Wade Van Niekerk, for pocketing both 400m gold and 200m silver, Luvo Manyonga for collecting gold and Ruswahl Samaai for his bronze,” he said.

Minister Nxesi said while South Africans are anticipating the athletes’ return, the local heroes still have to participate in the upcoming Diamond League, which will get underway on 24 August in Zurich.

“I know that the country is waiting in anticipation for the return of all our athletes so that they can be afforded the hero’s welcome they deserve. Unfortunately, due to their hectic calendar, it won’t be anytime soon as they still need to take part in the Diamond League.”

Minister Nxesi also congratulated athletes who did not secure medals and urged them to work extra hard.

“As for those who will be attending the Diamond League, they must go out there and represent the country well and we will be waiting in anticipation,” said Minister Nxesi. –

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