Sascoc on Thursday named an initial list of 64 athletes who will compete for South Africa at the Summer Olympic Games in Japan later this year.
Sports like Climbing, Surfing and Sailing had their moments in the sun, while hockey received a significant boost, with both mens and womens teams heading to Tokyo.
The list is far from complete. In the case of track and field, big names like Wayde van Niekerk and Caster Semenya have yet to qualify for their respective events, but have until July 5 to do so when the final team must be sent to the International Olympic Committee.
Sprinters Akani Simbine and Clarence Munyai and distance runner, Dominic Scott have completed their qualifying times and were thus named on Thursday.
For the respective hockey teams, qualification for the Games, is the culmination of years of hardwork, and a number of sacrifices, but players are keen to make the most of the opportunity and leave a legacy for the sport. “These Olympics are important for future generations, what we do at these Olympic games will set the tone for the future of hockey in South Africa,”said the national womens team’s goalkeeper, Phumelela Mbande.
Sascoc’s president Barry Hendricks, said the process of vaccinating the country’s Olympians ahead of the Games was going smoothly. That process had started last Friday, and while some athletes had expressed trepidation about taking the vaccine - the one shot jab from Johnson & Johnson -, others said that despite some initial lethargy, they were okay. “All of them have to be vaccinated, well before time,”said Hendricks. He added that Sascoc was in touch with athletes based overseas to help them obtain vaccines, while Sascoc has also been assisting overseas athletes based in SA, to get vaccinated.
The Olympics are set to start on July 23.
The initial list of athletes in Team South Africa for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are:
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)
WOMEN’S FIELD HOCKEY
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.)
MEN’S FIELD HOCKEY
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
Coach: Gregory Emslie