A squad of 153 athletes and officials will fly South Africa’s flag high at this year’s 12th edition of the African Games to be held in Morocco from 16-31 August.
The team will have representation in 11 out of 26 sporting codes being contested at the Games.
As per the norm at the African Games, Team SA’s biggest contingent will come from athletics with a total of 38 athletes followed by Swimming with a total of 24 athletes. Other codes that will form part of the team are: archery, badminton, canoeing, cycling, judo, table tennis, tennis, beach volleyball, and weightlifting.
Previously known as All Africa Games, the African Games is an important multi-coded event and the highest pinnacle of continental Games held every four years – one year before the Olympic Games.
At the former Games in Congo Brazzaville, 2015, Team SA performed exceptionally and won a total of 122 medals, 41 gold, 41 silver and 40 bronze placing third on the medal table.
The team is a great blend of experienced athletes who have performed well at the highest level in different international events.
110m and 400m hurdlers Antonio Alkana and Lindsey Hanekom will spearhead a powerful men’s athletics team. Zeney Van Der Walt and Sunette Viljoen will be leading a powerful women’s athletics team. These four are ranked 1st in the continent in their respective events.
South African sprint canoer and London 2012 bronze medallist, Bridgitte Hartley will be the most experienced leading the strong canoeing team.
Swimming boasts an experienced team with the likes of Michael Houlie, flag bearer and gold medallist at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games and bronze medallist at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
In addition, Gold Coast Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mona Pretorius will be part of the weightlifting team.
SASCOC President, Gideon Sam commented: ‘African Games is a very important event in our calendar, the highest pinnacle of competition in the continent. As these Games come a year before Olympics, it is a benchmark for our athletes on their road to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
‘Previously we have sent a big team of almost 300 athletes, but as highlighted before, this year it will be impossible to send a team of 300 people due to financial constraints. However, though the team is lean, it is a strong team of experienced athletes and we mostly included the athletes who will use these games as a qualifier for Olympic Games.’
‘Take these Games with the seriousness they deserve and give it your all as you will face much more competition in Tokyo. Congratulations to the team on your selection and we wish you well in Morocco,’ concluded Sam.
The team is:
Men: Rhyn Potgieter, Vivien De Klerk, Morgan Blewett
Women: Carien Whitehead
Coach: Johan Steyn
Men: Emile Erasmus, Thandolwenkosi Dlodlo, Chederick Van Wyk, Gardeo Isaacs, Thapelo Phora, Derick Mokaleng, Ashley Hlongwane, Ranti Dikgale, Tshepo Tshite, Ruan De Vries, Antonio Alkana, Lindsey Hanekom, Sokwakhana Zazini, Mpho Links, Breyton Poole, Wayne Snyman, Orazio Cremona, Kyle Blignaut, Victor Hogan
Women: Tebogo Mamatu, Tamzin Thomas, Justine Palframan, Danel Holton, Taylon Bield, Zeney Van Der Walt, Wenda Nel, Julia Du Plessis, Linique Beneke, Zinzi Chabangu, Patience Ntshingila, Ischke Senekal, Meike Strydom, Yolandi Stander, Margo-Chene Pretorius, Marga Cumming, Sunette Viljoen, Jo-Ane Van Dyk
Coaches: John Mathane, Paul Gorries, Irma Reyneke, DP Badenhost
Men: Ruan Snyman, Bongani Von Bodenstein, Jarred Elliott, Sean Noone, Jason Mann
Women: Johanita Scholtz, Megan De Beer, Leah Schoeman
Coach: Gershon Rorich
Women: Esti Van Tonder, Donna Hutton, Bridgitte Hartley, Nosipho Mthembu
Men: Chrisjan, Coetzee, Alex Masina, Louis Hattingh, Jarryd Gibson
Coaches: Wayne August, Janet Simpkins
Men: Stefan de Bod, Ryan Gibbons, Clint Hendricks, Jayde Julius, Kent Main, Andre Gibhard
Women: Tiffany Keep, Maroesjka Matthee, Carla Oberholzer, Anel Oosthuizen, Ashleigh Pasio, Zanri Rossouw, Joanna van de Winkel Coaches: Rebecca Eliot, Anthony Harding
Women: Unelle Snyman, Genoray Whitebooi, Jasmine Martin
Men: Siyabulela Mabulu, Devan Stemmet
Coaches: Nicola Filipov, Vivienne Henry
Women: Erin Gallagher, Kaylene Corbett, Jessica Whelan, Sinelithemba Mbatha, Emma Chelius, Carla Tina Antonopoulos, Samantha Randle, Christin Mundell, Kerryn Herbst
Men: Michael Houlie, Michael McGlynn, Christopher Reid, Ryan Coetzee, Douglas Erasmus, Alaric Basson, Alard Basson, Roberto Gomes, Brent Szurdoki, Neil Fair, Martin Binedell, Mohammad Warley, Bradley Tandy, Ayrton Sweeney, Eben Vorster
Coaches: Nonkululeko Mngadi, Graham Hill, Debbie McLeod, Mark Edge
Women: Danisha Patel, Simeen Mookrey, Palesa Mtshoelibe, Mthabiseng Mtshoelibe
Men: Kurt Lingeveldt, Theo Cogill, Byrone Abrahams, Cade Peters
Coaches: Omar Zaineddin, Ashlyn Wagner
Women: Chanel Simmonds
Coach: Asnath Sebati
Women: Johani Taljaard, Mona Pretorius
Men: Lyle Du Plooy
Coach: Stephen Cupido
Photo: Christiaan Kotze/SASPA