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Zuma wants at least 12 medals

KARABO NGOEPE and SAPA

THE SA Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) has defended the proportion of athletes to officials in Team South Africa for the 2012 London Olympic Games, starting later this month.

Game for it: |Marathon runner Coolboy Ngamule dances with President Jacob Zuma at last night's farewell function for the Olympic team at the Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria.Picture: Masi Losi

“I think you’ll find that most countries going to the Olympics will have roughly the same proportion of athletes to officials, if not more,” Sascoc CEO Tubby Reddy said.

A team of 125 South African athletes (67 male and 58 female) will travel to London accompanied by 46 officials, serving in various capacities. An additional 12 medical staff (three doctors and nine physiotherapists) will ensure the wellbeing of the athletes, along with a management complement of eight.

In comparison, Australia’s Olympic team comprises 410 athletes and 319 officials.

Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma has told Team SA not to return with fewer than 12 medals.

Zuma was speaking at a farewell function for the teams at the Presidential Guesthouse yesterday.

He said that 2012 marked the 20th anniversary of SA’s readmission into the international sporting community.

“Team South Africa, now is your turn to take this nation to even greater heights. We have been to Beijing. We are now going to London and we must do better,” he said.

“We want you to be clean – no drugs, no hectic partying and no negative behaviour.”

Zuma said they had to win for SA and Nelson Mandela, who was turning 94 on Wednesday.

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