SA names team for Commonwealth Games

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) has named the team that will represent the country at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia.

“Team South Africa athletes will do battle across 16 codes, including para-sports athletics, lawn bowls, swimming, table tennis and powerlifting,” it said on Tuesday.

South African athletes will participate in sporting codes such as athletics, badminton, bowls, boxing and cycling (mountain bike, road and track), among others.

SASCOC said the men’s Sevens Rugby Team will only be announced at the end of February.

Aquatics is the biggest code in terms of numbers with 28 (23 swimmers, three divers and two para-swimmers) while athletics and cycling both feature 18 athletes. Aquatics boasts the two youngest members of the team in the form of Luan Grobbelaar and Dune Coetzee (15), while lawn bowler Princess Schreuder, at 67, is the oldest competitor in the team.

Two codes, para-table tennis and para-powerlifting, both have just one competitor.

The team includes Rio Olympics gold medallist track athlete, Caster Semenya, silver medallist swimmers Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos, field athletes Luvo Manyonga and Sunette Viljoen and bronze medallists Henri Schoeman (triathlon) and the men’s rugby Sevens side.

Para-sport also features Rio Paralympics double gold medallist Charl du Toit and gold medallists, Hilton Langenhoven, Reinhardt Hamman and Dyan Buis.

“As SASCOC, we’re very excited to deliver this team for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Many hours of planning have gone into preparing this team,” said SASCOC President Gideon Sam of the games that will take place between 4 and 15 April.

Sam said the games are a platform to see where the country’s sportsmen and women, both established and developing, are on the world stage.

“You will see that it’s a great blend of experience and raw talent and I’m confident we’ll once again be right up there with the cream of Commonwealth countries and looking to improve on our seventh place on the medals table in Glasgow four years ago.

SASCOC acting Chief Executive Officer Patience Shikwambana wished the team well.

“I believe we have a strong team with established stars, who have excelled exceptionally in the international arena, including at renowned events such as the Olympics, Paralympics and previous Commonwealth Games as well.”

Since being admitted back into the global sports family, South Africa has sent teams to six Commonwealth Games around the globe, starting with the 1994 Games in Victoria, British Colombia.

At the last Games in Glasgow four years ago, Team South Africa ended seventh with a total medal count of 40 (13 gold, 10 silver and 17 bronze).

SASCOC is the country’s multi-coded sporting body responsible for the preparation, presentation and performance of teams to all multi-coded events, namely the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Commonwealth Games, World Games, All Africa Games, Olympic Youth Games, Commonwealth Youth Games and Zone VI Games. - SAnews.gov.za

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