The first squad of athletes to represent Team SA at the Tokyo Olympics has been announced with just 57 days to go before the Games get under way in Japan.
At a virtual announcement on Thursday, representatives across seven codes were named – athletics, climbing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey (men and women), sailing and surfing.
Team SA is sending a large squad to represent the country at the Olympic Games and the first announcement gives a hint of what is to come. There was particular interest around the naming of the players to represent Team SA in the men’s and women’s hockey competition, where they will be attempting to better their all-time Olympic results of ninth (women) and 10th (men), respectively.
Notable omissions from the squad include the likes of Wayde van Niekerk, Caster Semenya and Jordy Smith, in athletics and surfing respectively, but they still have time to qualify and the expectations are that they will, and therefore be added to the final list for Tokyo.
SASCOC President Barry Hendricks congratulated the first members to be selected to Team South Africa: ‘After all the challenges the world at large faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic which resulted in the postponement of the Olympics, it’s a very exciting time for us as an Olympic Committee and it feels incredible to be announcing our first names of Team South Africa.
‘Congratulations to the selected team members and all your resilience and hard work has paid off and we strongly believe that the team will bring sporting pride to the whole of South Africa.
He added: ‘SASCOC wouldn’t have arrived at this crucial stage of announcing the team if it wasn’t for the help from our sponsors and partners who continue to render us undivided support to prepare and deliver our teams to such renowned multi-coded sporting events. The funding from the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and the National Lotteries Commission also went a long way in supporting the athletes. Thank you very much to all our partners and sponsors who include: Mr Price Sport, Veldskoen, Planet Fitness and Olympic Solidarity with more sponsors that have been concluded on and to be announced very soon.’
Mr Ravi Govender, SASCOC Acting CEO, also expressed his delight at the initial team announcement: “The four years lengthened further by the postponement of the Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic has not been easy for our athletes. It therefore gives me great joy and a sense of national pride to be part of this moment as we celebrate the achievements of our athletes in qualifying to represent our nation as Team SA at the Tokyo Olympics. We call upon our entire nation to support our athletes as they give off their best at these prestigious games to bring us honour.’
It was in Rio that TeamSA returned with 10 medals, which improved on the six medals that were won at London 2012.
With 57 days to go, athletes selected for the Tokyo Olympics have been receiving Covid-19 vaccinations ahead of the Games which run from 23 July to 8 August.
Akani Simbine, Clarence Munyai, Antonio Alkana, Cheswill Johnson, Ruswahl Samaai, Rocco van Rooyen, Jason van Rooyen, Stephen Mokoka, Desmond Mokgobu, Elroy Gelant, Wayne Snyman, Men’s 4X100m Relay and Men’s 4X400m Relay (The athletes are still to be determined by Athletics South Africa), Wenda Nel, Dominique Scott, Gerda Steyn and Irvette van Zyl
Erin Sterkenburg and Chris Cosser
Johan Spies, Charlene du Preez, David Maree, Daryl Impey, Ryan Gibbons, Nicholas Dlamini, Ashleigh Pasio-Moolman, Carla Oberholzer, Alan Hatherly, Candice Lill and Alex Limberg
Elton Davids (Team Manager and BMX Coach)
Ian Goetham (Road Coach)
Moosa Classen (Track Mechanic)
Jean-Pierre Jacobs (Mountain Bike Manager Coach and Mechanic)
Carl Pasio (Road Coach)
Brigette Mileson (Track Coach Manager)
Gary Blem (Road Mechanic)
Ilse Laing (Roets)
Quanita Bobbs, Erin Christie, Lisa Deetlefs, Lilian Du Plessis, Nicole Erasmus, Tarryn Glasby, Robyn Johnson, Charne Maddocks, Lerato Mahole, Phumelela Mbande, Edith Molikoe, Kristen Paton, Tarryn Potts, Celia Seerane, Nomnikelo Veto and Onthatile Zulu
Coaches and Management
Gillian Doig (Manager), Robin Van Ginkel (Head Coach), Nkuliso Zondi (Assistant Coach) and Taren Naidoo (Video Analyst)
Erasmus Pieterse, Timothy Drummond, Austin Smith, Mohamed Mea, Matthew Guise-Brown, Jethro Eustice, Nduduzo Lembethe, Taine Paton, Nicholas Spooner, Clinton Panther, Samkelo Mvimbi, Abdud Cassiem, Mustaphaa Cassiem, Nqobile Ntuli, Keenan Horne and Tevin Kok
Coaches and Management
Martin van Staden (Manager), Garreth Ewing (Head Coach), Siphesihle Ntuli (Assistant Coach) and Ashlin Freddy.
Alex Burger and Benjamin Daniel