Johannesburg – The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) has set the South African team a target of finishing among the top-five nations at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games which runs from July 23 to August 3.
Sascoc president Gideon Sam said despite stringent qualification criteria, where athletes had to be ranked among the top five in the Commonwealth to take part, South Africa was still sending a large contingent.
“You will see how big the team is and they have all – according to the ‘tough’ criteria that so many people complained about –
made it,” Sam said at the team announcement in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
An initial squad of 155 of the country’s finest athletes had been named, spread over 15 codes, from aquatics to wrestling.
Sam said the team would be set a target of 43 medals – 15 gold, 12 silver and 16 bronze – to give them a realistic chance of finishing among the top-five nations.
“We are saying 15 gold medals will leave us hovering around five or six but we believe we shouldn’t go lower than that target,” Sam said.
At the previous quadrennial Games in New Delhi, India, four years ago, South Africa finished in fifth place securing 12 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals for a haul of 33– the nation’s lowest medal count since the 1994 Games in Victoria, Canada.
Sport federations and its athletes had risen to the challenge, he said, which meant they were able to send a big team to Glasgow.
In 2010, South Africa included only six athletes in the traditionally strong track and field disciplines, which resulted in only three medals.
This time around, 20 athletes had been selected to board the plane for Glasgow in the hope of returning with more silverware.
South African swimming sensation Chad le Clos would carry the heaviest burden at the Games after he had promised to contribute at least seven medals to the tally.
He picked up five medals in 2010, and would be aiming for six individual and three relay medals.
Also included in the swimming squad was four-time Olympian Roland Schoeman and Olympic gold medallist and world record holder Cameron van der Burgh.
Only two woman swimmers qualified for the Games, with Karin Prinsloo, who had been in scintillating form this year emerging as a serious medal prospect.
Javelin queen Sunette Viljoen would be defending her title for the third consecutive Games, while national 400m hurdles record holder LJ van Zyl was hoping to win his third medal in Glasgow after his gold-medal run in 2006 in Melbourne and the bronze from 2010.
The country’s fastest man Simon Magakwe, who ran the first sub-10 second race for the national record earlier this year, had been included along with rising star Akani Simbine.
Middle-distance ace Johan Cronje, who last month broke the long-standing South African mile record and won the country’s only medal at last year’s World Championships in Moscow, was also in the team.
London Olympian Jacques van Zyl would be spearheading the judo squad which also included up-and-coming Siyabulela Mabulu.
A number of medal winners from the previous Games were in the lawn bowls team and it was expected they would once again win medals South Africa.
Rugby sevens had brought back medals from the last two Commonwealth Games and, with this code now part of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, the Glasgow Games were an important part of preparation.
Surprise inclusions for the Blitzbokke were 2007 Rugby World Cup winning wing Bryan Habana and Springbok hooker Schalk Brits.
Incentives for winning silverware were announced, with a gold medal carrying a value of R40 000, silver will be worth R20 000 and R7 500 for a bronze medal.
The coaches would also earn an incentive with a sliding scale of R10,000, R5,000 and R2,500, to bring the total amount to R1.2
million budgeted for the Games, Sam said.
The men’s and women’s hockey teams were doing battle at the Hockey World Cup in the Netherlands, and their teams would only be named on completion of that event.
South African team:
AQUATICS: Cameron van der Burgh, Chad le Clos, Bradley Tandy, Dylan Bosch, Myles Brown, Sebastien Rousseau, Roland Schoeman, Leith Shankland, Caydon Muller, Clayton Jimmie, Calvyn Justus, Darren Murray, Tara-lynn Nicholas, Karin Prinsloo, Erin Gallagher, Trudi Maree, Marne Erasmus, Rene Warnes, Marlies Ross, Jessica Ashley-Cooper Management: Shawn Adriaanse (manager)
Coaches: Graham Hill, Cedric Finch, Igor Omeltchenko, Wayne Riddin.
Para-swimming: Craig Groenewald.
Manager/coach: Theo Verster
ATHLETICS: Simon Magakwe, Akani Simbine, Wayde van Niekerk, Andre Olivier, Johan Cronje, LJ van Zyl, Cornel Fredericks, Zarck Visser, Ruswahl Samaai, Khotso Mokoena, Orazio Cremona, Rocco van Rooyen, Willem Coertzen, Fredriech Pretorius, Sunette Viljoen, Wenda Nel, Hendrico Bruintjies, Shawn De Jager, Victor Hogan, Anaso Jobodwana
Management: Motlatsi Keikabile Coaches: Brandon Du Plessis, Carl Preller
Para-athletics: Fanie van der Merwe, Charl du Toit, Andrea Dalle Ave, Juanelie Meijer, Lean Simon.
Management: Karin le Roux (Manager/coach) Coach: Suzanne Ferreira
BADMINTON: Willem Viljoen, Andries Malan, Jacob Maliekal, Prakash Vijaynath, Jennifer Fry, Sandra le Grange, Elsie de Villiers. Management: Stewart Carson (Manager/Coach)
BOXING: Ayabonga Sonjica, Thulani Mbenge, Siphiwe Lusizi, Luvuyo Sizani, Paul Schafer, Pathiswa Thingana. Management: Nkosinathi Hlatshwayo (coach), Johan Prinsloo (Manager/Coach)
CYCLING: Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, Cherise Stander, Heidi Dalton, Lise Olivier, Anriette Schoeman, Andri Coetzee, Bernard Esterhuizen, Nolan Hoffman, Evan Carstens, Theuns vd Bank, Kellan Gouveris, Oupa Maluleke, Morne Van Niekerk, Mariske Strauss, Phillip Buys
Management: Brett Coates, (Manager/MTB coach) Coaches: Dean Edwards (Road/Time Trial), Elrick Kulsen (Coach-Track), Ruan Lochner (Mechanic)
GYMNASTICS: Kirsten Beckett, Claudia Cummins, Bianca Mann, Cameron MacKenzie, Tiaan Grobler, Siphamandla Ngcobo, Siphesihle Biyase, Grace Legote, Aimee van Rooyen, Julene van Rooyen.
Management: Ilse Laing (Manager/coach) Coaches: Tatiana
Lavrentchouk-Vizer, Jesse Abraham Kitzen-Abelson.
HOCKEY: Men’s and women’s sides to be announced after completion of the World Cup in the Netherlands.
JUDO: Daniel le Grange, Siyabulela Mabulu, Jacques van Zyl, Zack Piontek, Tobie Snyman, Sinothando Mva. Management: Ina van den Heever, (Manager) Vintcent Redpath (Coach)
LAWN BOWLS: Colleen Piketh, Tracy-Lee Botha, Susanna Nel, Susanna Steyn, Esme Steyn, Robert Donnelly, Gerald Baker, Josephus Jacobs, Jason Evans, Mmboniseni Neluonde.
Para-bowls: Gyndolene Nel, Hermanus Scholtz, Geoffrey Newcombe, Johanna van Rooyen, Derrick Lobban, Roger Hagerty, Deon van de Vyver. Management: Jessica Henderson (Manager), Martinus Fraser (Coach), Brian Sneag (Manager/para-bowls)
NETBALL: Adele Niemand, Bongiwe Msomi, Chrisna Bootha, Erin Burger, Lenize Potgieter, Karla Mostert, Kefiloe Tsotsetsi, Maryka Holtzhausen, Melissa Myburgh, Precious Mthembu, Zanele Mdodana, Zanele Vimbela.
Management: Kitiana Lekalakala (Manager) Coaches: Elizabeth Kotze (coach), Ilze Pheiffer
PARA-POWERLIFTING: Chantell Stierman.
Management; Jan Flemming (Manager/Coach)
RUGBY SEVENS: Chris Dry, Schalk Brits, Frankie Horne, Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez, Cheslin Kolbe, Justin Geduld, Cecil Afrika, Bryan Habana, Seabelo Senatla, Cornal Hendricks, Warren Whiteley.
Management: Ashley Evert (Manager) Coaches: Neil Powell, Allan Temple Jones
SHOOTING: Alexander Coetzee, Johannes du Toit, Esmari van Reenen. Management: Bernand de Beer (Manager /Coach)
TRIATHLON: Richard Murray, Henri Schoeman, Wian Sullwald, Kate Roberts, Gillian Sanders.
Manager: Lindsey Parry (Manager/Coach) WEIGHTLIFTING: Portia Vries, Mona Pretorius, Anrich Phillips, Greg Shushu, Gordon Shaw. Management: Aveenash Pandoo (Manager/Coach) WRESTLING: Bokang Masunyane, Marno Plaatjes, Terry van Rensburg, Gerald Meyer, Armando Hietbrink, Adem Digovich, Mpho Madi, Jeannie-Marie Coetzer, Norma Gordon, Zumicke Geringer, Refilwe Molongwane.
Management: Nico Coetzee (Manager/Coach) Esta van Zyl (Coach) – Sapa