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Media positive over Team SA

New Delhi: The South African press gave the team a resounding thumbs-up in their Sunday assessment ahead of the start of the Commonwealth Games.

The Sunday Times headlined their story, ÔÇ£SA’s Delhi team hot to trot despite the setbacksÔÇØ, with writer Rowan Philps saying, ÔÇ£they’ve been rocked by snakes, star withdrawals, cracks in their rooms and broken air conditioners, but members of the team insist their hopes and medal prospects are high.ÔÇØ

It said that Paralympic legend ÔÇ£Natalie du Toit was dismayed to learn that a cobra was removed from her room before she moved inÔÇØ ÔÇô the statement begs two questions, 1) did she not want it removed and 2) how did she know it was her room as the snake was found 10 days ago, before the apartment tower had been completed.

However, the paper said that ÔÇ£swimming champion Cameron van der Burgh, 22, and his family were brimming with pride following the news that he would carry South Africa’s flag at the opening ceremonyÔÇØ.

ÔÇ£Van der Burgh said that, despite the ‘disappointment’ of major track stars pulling out, ‘the spirit here is the best I’ve experienced. Everyone is smiling, flipping thumbs-ups to each other in the Games village. It’s like they put Prozac in the water’.

The Independent Group’s chief sports writer and Olympic specialist, Kevin McCallum, arrived at the weekend and said, ÔÇ£things are certainly better than we had been exposed to over the past fortnight in terms of TV and general coverage. Of course there was trepidation but all seems on track and I can’t wait for the Games to startÔÇØ.

Rapport’s Marizanne Kok celebrated Van der Burgh’s selection as flag bearer at the opening ceremony and focused on the strength of the swim team. Apart from Van der Burgh and multiple champion Roland Schoeman, Kok also spoke with Du Toit, who admitted to ÔÇ£carrying too much weight in Holland where she lost three months ago, but who has now shed some 10kg in the past three weeksÔÇØ.