JOHANNESBURG – A total of 55 athletes have been included in the SA team, including 13 para-athletes, for the 2018 AUSC Region 5 Under-20 Games to be held in Gaborone, Botswana from December 7 to 16.
The able-bodied athletics contingent announced by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) consists of 42 athletes with 21 boys and 21 girls.
The strong junior team includes world junior Shot Put champion Kayle Blignaut, High Jump prodigy Breyton Poole, 400m Hurdles prospect Gontse Morake, versatile field events specialist Tharina van der Walt, sprint sensations Thando Dlodlo, Thembo Monareng and Rose Xeyi, and middle distance runners Prudence Sekgodiso, Nicole Louw, Carmie Prinsloo and Robert de Villiers.
In addition, Sascoc unveiled a 13-member para-athletics team featuring nine boys and four girls.
The athletics team forms part of a 220-member South African squad which will compete in nine codes at the Games.
They will aim to defend the overall title the nation lifted two years ago after raking in 123 medals at the previous edition of the regional age group showpiece in Angola.
The SA squad will face teams from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Kingdom of Eswatini and hosts, Botswana.
“These Games are very important to ASA because every competition counts towards making a better athlete through experience gained. We trust our athletes will grab the opportunity to better themselves and honouring South Africa,” said Aleck Skhosana, the president of ASA.
African News Agency (ANA)