JOHANNSBURG – Lythe Pillay, Zakithi Nene, Oscar Mavundla and Ranti Dikgale, were all confirmed for the South African team for the Olympics, in the 4x400m relay, and with Wayde van Niekerk having qualified for the individual race, they will be confident of pushing for a medal in Tokyo.
Pillay, Nene, Mavundla and Dikgale ran the qualifying time for the 400m relay in Poland at the World Relay championships in May.
With Van Niekerk set to concentrate on the defence of his individual title initially, he won’t be part of the qualifying round in Tokyo, so that quartet along with Pieter Conradie, will be responsible for trying to earn one of the eight spots in the final which will take place on the penultimate night of the Games, August 7.
In the latest set of teams to be named by the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Siviwe Soyizwapi was named captain of the BlitzBoks Sevens team, which will be going in search of an improvement of the Bronze medal won in Rio five years ago. Justin Geduld,is the only survivor from the Rio team, but that doesn’t mean it is a side devoid of experience.
Branco du Preez and Chris Dry have been part of the Sevens side for more than a decade, while Soyizwapi brings five years of experience to the side as well.
With the final announcement, the squad has swelled to 180 athletes as preparations enter the final phases ahead of the Games opening in Tokyo on 23 July.
The Acting CEO of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), Mr Ravi Govender, was delighted with the final composition of Team SA. “Congratulations to all those who have been selected to wear the green and gold of Team South Africa at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” he said.
“The athletes and coaches have had many challenges to overcome and in the face of adversity and the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, they have risen to where they are finally representing their country on the biggest sporting stage of all.”
The SA team will journey to Tokyo in different groups in compliance with Covid-19 demands.
The rowing team is already in Japan conducting a training camp.
The Games start on July 23.
Men: Anaso Jobodwana (200m), Thapelo Phora (400m), Sokwakhana Zazini (400m hurdles), Lebogang Shange (race walking), Shaun Maswanganyi (4x100m relay), Galaletsang Ramorwa (4x100m relay), Chederick van Wyk (4x100m relay), Pieter Conradie (4x400m relay), Ranto Dikgale (4x400m relay), Oscar Mavundla (4x400m relay), Derrick Mokaleng (4x400m relay), Zakhiti Nene (4x400m relay), Lythe Pillay (4x400m relay), Precious Mashele (5000m)
Women: Jo-Ane van Dyk (javelin)
Men’s Rugby Sevens
Kurt-Lee Arendse, Angelo Davids, Zain Davids, Selvyn Davids, Chris Dry, Branco du Preez, Ronald Brown, Stedman Gans, Justin Geduld, Sakoyisa Makata, JC Pretorius, Siviwe Soyizwapi (capt), Impi Visser
Men: Martin Binedell (200m backstroke)
Women: Rebecca Meder (200m IM), Dune Coetzee (4x200m medley relay)
Coaches and management: Nonkululeko Mngadi, Chanelle van Wyk, Rocco Meiring