A team of more than 200 athletes will fly the flag for Team South Africa at the 10th All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique in September.
South African athletes will compete in a total of 18 different sports against their continental counterparts at the Games which run from 3-18 September while there is also representation by para-athletes in the aquatics and athletics codes.
The sports being contested in the Mozambican capital are: aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, canoeing, chess, cycling, football, judo, karate, sailing, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball and beach volleyball.
The team is a powerful one, containing many athletes who have represented South Africa at the Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games.
Also included are Paralympic legends Oscar Pistorius and Natalie du Toit in athletics and swimming respectively.
World 800m champion Caster Semenya was originally included in the team but has been allowed to withdraw due to prior international athletics commitments, namely the Diamond League meetings. Swimmers George du Rand and Chanelle van Wyk were late withdrawals due to injury.
Gideon Sam, President of South Africa’s Olympic governing body SASCOC, wished the team well for the Games. “South Africa go to Maputo this time out even more determined than ever to do well and to bag the most medals and prove to the rest of the continent that we are indeed a super power to be reckoned with. At the last Games in Algiers, Algeria it was Egypt and Algeria who ended first and second while we took third spot. With the Games now coming to the southern part of Africa it’s time for South Africa to strut their stuff.
“Less than a year out from the 2012 Olympic Games, the All-Africa Games are a perfect platform for athletes to show how far they have gone with their preparation for London.┬áGreat performances in Maputo will go a long way in showing coaches how far they still have to go to be battle-ready for London. We therefore make a special request to all our athletes to take these Games in a serious manner and to go out there and to do their best, because only the best performances will be good for South Africa.
“Looking at the Games from another aspect and South Africa continues to play an important role in many areas of the development of our continent. We are called upon to play that role in the arena of sport. We have witnessed many times over, the great role that sport plays in the development of nations.┬áIn fact, our own history bears testimony to what we have achieved as a nation through sport.”
Other big names in the athletics squad are junior world long jump champion Luvo Manyonga and Commonwealth Games javelin champion Sunette Viljoen.
In the swimming code Olympic gold medallist Roland Schoeman will be joined by 2012 Olympic Games medal hope Cameron van der Burgh who won two bronze medals at the recent FINA world championships in China. Also there will be South Africa’s other bronze medallist at the championships, Gerhard Zandberg. Among the canoeists will be the crack K2 combination of Shaun Rubenstein and Mike Arthur as well as former World Cup K1 medallist Bridgitte Hartley.
The Banyana Banyana women’s side is also part of this strong contingent and are still in the running to qualify for next year’s Olympics. Unfortunately SASCOC are struggling to secure the names of the men’s football team. SASOC received the final list of 18 players, however were told on 17 August 2011 that in a meeting between the CEOs of SAFA and the PSL, SAFA were given the indication that the PSL clubs refused to release their players.
SAFA called an urgent camp for 40 players over the last few days and have been given until close of business on 25 August 2011 to submit the names of the team or face exclusion from Team South Africa for All Africa Games 2011.
The martial arts codes will have representation in three codes, namely judo, karate and taekwondo.
Five triathletes make the trip, among them Wian Sullwald, who was in the South African team that did duty at the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore last year.
Both the traditional form of volleyball as well as the newer beach volleyball code will have representation.
Team South Africa will be looking to improve on their showing at the last All African Games in Algiers, Algeria four years ago where they ended third on the meals table behind North African rivals Egypt and Algeria.
Egypt won 199 medals and Algeria 205 but Algeria ended second on the table because they won four fewer gold medals than Egypt. South Africa won 180 medals in total, 61 of which were gold.
South Africa dominated the swimming competition and are once again likely to do so in Maputo.
Team South Africa for Maputo:
Aquatics: Graham Hill, Dean Price, Igor Omeltchenko and Queeneth Ndlovu (officials). Roland Schoeman, Gideon Louw, Darian Townsend, Leath Shankland, Jean Basson, Jasper Venter, Mark Randall, Gerhardus Zandberg, Charl Crous, Darren Murray, Cameron van der Burgh, Neil Versfeld, Thabang Moeketsane, Neil Watson, Garth Tune, Chad le Clos, Riaan Schoeman, Malesela Molepo, Edward Johanniesen, Karin Prinsloo, Roxanne Tammadge, , Rene Warnes, Dominique Dryding, Mandy Loots, Natasha de Vos, Suzaan van Biljon, Claire Conlon, Muminah Connelly, Kathryn Meaklim, Bianca Meyer.
Para-aquatics: Cedric Finch, Brian Elliot (officials). Kevin Paul, Achmat Hassiem, Sean Clarke, Natalie du Toit, Emily Gray, Shireen Sapiro, Kevin Waller
Athletics: Keikabile Motlatsi, Eugene Thipe, Hennie Kotze, Owen van Niekerk (officials). Lebogang Moeng, Thuso Mpuang, Oscar Pistorius, Lehann Fourie, Cornel Fredericks, Ramsay Carelse, Ebenhaeser Beukes, Luvo Manyonga, Tumelo Thagane, Roelof Potgieter, Jacobus Engelbrecht, Victor Hogan, Russel Tucker, Chris Harmse, Robert Oosthuizen, Hardus Pienaar, Bernardus Crous, Ross Jordaan, Veronica Theron, Anika Smit, Sonia Smuts, Veronica Abrahamse, Elizna Naude, Justine Robbeson, Sunette Viljoen, Gerlize de Klerk, Janet Lawless
Para-athletics: Nchakaga Mphelo (officials). Fanie van der Merwe, Hilton Langenhoven, Michael Louwrens, Juanelie Meijer, Zandile Nhlapo
Badminton: Willie Joseph, Stewart Carson (officials). Dorian James, Jacob Maliekal, Enrico James, Willem Viljoen, Roelof Dednam, Stacey Doubell, Michelle Butler-Emmett, Kerry-Lee Harrington, Annari Viljoen
Basketball: Clemen Kock, Mlungisi Ngwenya, Sergei Paly (officials). Neo Mothiba, Thagang Kgwedi, Kegorapetse Letsebe, Quintin Denyssen, Cedric Kalombo, Lindokuhle Sibankulu, Nhlanhla Dlamini, Amogelang Keogatile, Brendan Mettler, Malakia Loate, Wayne Mhlongo, Kagiso Ngoetjane, Jerry Manyubele
Boxing: Andile Mofu, Nkosinathi Hlatshwayo, Herman Beukes (officials). Gift Pilane, Ludumo Lamati, Ayabonga Sonjica, Siphiwe Lusizi, Tulani Mbenge, Hlahla Hobwana, Walter Dlamini, Akani Phuzi, Paul Schafer
Canoeing–Sprint: Greg van Heerden, Marcus Melck (officials). Nick Stubbs, Calvin Mokoto, Greg Louw, Gavin White, Michael Arthur, Shaun Rubenstein, Willem Basson, Tiffany Kruger, Bridgitte Hartley
Canoeing-Slalom: Siboniso Cele (official). Lindelani Ngidi, Donovan Wewege
Chess: Brian Aitchison, Jerald Times (officials). Anzel Solomons, Monique Sischy, Jenine Ellappen, Ezet Roos, Denise Frick, Henry Steel, Donovan van den Heever, Johannes Mabusela, Daniel Cawdery, Kgaugelo Moshetle
Cycling: Barry Austin, Gregory Botha (officials). Leandri Du Toit, Lisa Olivier, Lynette Burger
Football (women): Zanele Khanyile, Joseph Mkhonza, Bongani Yengwa (officials). Yolula Tsawe, Ntshetsana Mputle, Sibongiseni Khamlana, Nthabeleng Modiko, Nondyebo Mgudu, Emily Mogatla, Matha Mokoma, Nomvula Kgoale, Chantelle Esau, Nocawe Sikiti, Sisebo Mabatle, Tina Selepe, Memory Makhanya, Nomakhosi Zulu, Andisiwe Mgcoyi, Mantombi Radebe
Judo: Rodney Clemence (official). Siyabulela Mabulu, Gideon van Zyl, Patrick Trezise
Karate: Ian Le Roux, VJ Govender (officials). Coral Jacobs, Joad Schwalbach, Zachous Banyane, Adeeb Fillies, Daniel Kotze, Morgan Moss, Shane Moss, Eugene Oosthuizen, Siphiwe August
Netball: Marchelle Maroun, Dorcas Basiretsi, Reginald Sharp (officials). Nokuthula Qegu, Nosiphiwo Goda, Kgomotso Itlhabanyeng, Tintswalo Mhlongo, Kay Baron, Sameshia Esau, Nontando Lusaseni, Fezeka Gambushe, Precious Mthembu, Mbukwana Palesa, Zanele Gumede, Engeldraud Mungenga
Sailing: Belinda Hayward, Shellee Nel, Derrick Robinson (officials)., Ruben Heard, Daniel Spratley, David Wilson, Emma Clark, Stefano Marcia, Matthew Shaw, Jessica Deary, Bridget Clayton, Rudy McNeill, Craig Richards, Eben Vivier, Johan Vivier.
Table tennis: Audrina MacDonald, Clement Meyer (officials). Shane Overmeyer, Kurt Lingeveldt, Luke Abrahams, Khanyisilen Madala, Letshego Seleke, Vivian Jackson.
Taekwondo: Motsei Monnakgotla, Jung Cho (officials). Wu Yu-Tai, Lesego Maponyane, Alpheus Mkhonazi, Gopolang Mokoka
Tennis: Bridget Visee (official). Chanel SImmonds, Natasha Fourouclas
Triathlon: Lindsey Parry (official). Wian Sullwald, Erhard Wolfaardt, Carlyn Fisher, Lauren Dance, Andrea Steyn
Volleyball: Mkheyi Ndlovu, Mogamat Groenewald, Thierry Mabeka (officials). Gershon Rorich, Kirshen Govender, Yashveer Maharijh, Andile Masinga, Ricardo Valentine, Dean Layters, Jamaine Naidoo, Clinton Stemmet, Warwick Elleberck, Shaien Govender, Sugendren Govender, Velisa Ntshunshe
Beach volleyball: Freedom Chiya, Grant Goldsmith, Palesa Sekhonyana, Randy Williams