CAPE TOWN – Three weeks removed from his maiden PGA tour title, 22 year old Garrick Higgo was named as part of the South African Olympic team on Saturday.
Higgo won the Palmetto Championship in South Carolina, last month, and will head to Tokyo, alongside Christiaan Bezuidenhout, to compete in the four round mens competition, while the experienced Ashleigh Buhai, is headed to her second Olympics, having competed in Rio de Janeiro.
The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee named a set of five teams on Saturday. The announcement was supposed to take place on SABC 3, but the public broadcaster had what one insider claimed were “technical glitches,” so instead of a live broadcast of the event, the team was sent via social media. Chef de Mission, Patience Sikhwambana was interviewed on the channel instead, giving background on the logistical planning for the Games, which are still going ahead despite Japan battling another wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Besides the under-23 football team, athletes, including rhythmic gymnast, Naveen Daries and judoka, Geronay Whitebooi, also had their trips to Tokyo confirmed. Whitebooi, 25, was crowned African champion in front of her home fans in Cape Town in 2019, and retained her title in Madagascar in 2020.
Sikhwambana reiterated that athletes would not be able to travel outside a very strict ‘bio bubble’ in the Japanese capital. “They can only go between the venue and the athletes village,” she said. “We were all given a list of the measures the IOC has put together for the athletes in the ‘bio bubble.’ I must say I was very impressed; just one example is how the meals will be handled, normally, you would have six people seated together at a table, this time you can only have two people.”
The SA rowing team has already travelled to Japan, to acclimatise to conditions at a training camp.
Because of the ‘bio bubble’ regulations, teams will travel to Japan in a staggered schedule from July 13. The ‘bio bubble’ rules demand that athletes be in Tokyo at least seven day before the start of their competition.
The Games start on July 23 and will continue until August 8.
Naveen Daries. Coach: Leeland Christian
Garrick Higgo and Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Ashleigh Buhai.
Management and Caddies: Tanya Paterson (caddy), Johan Swanepoel (caddy), Nick Cavendish-Pell (caddy) and Joanne Newell (Manager)
Tanya Seymour, Victoria Legendre-Scott
Coaches and management: Ingeborg Sanne, Rudolphe Scherer and Colin Scott
Coach: Nikola Filipov
AQUATICS – DIVING AND OPEN WATER SWIMMING
Michelle Weber, Michael Mcglynn, Julia Vincent and Micaela Bouter
Coaches and management:
Wayne Riddin, Cedric Finch and William Sherritt
Ronwen Williams, Mondli Mpoto, Sifiso Mlungwana, Tercious Malepe, Luke Fleurs, Sibusiso Mabiliso, Abbubaker Mobara, Thabiso Monyane, Katlego Mohamme, Teboho Mokoena, Thabo Cele, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Sipho Mbule, Goodman Mosele, Kamohelo Mahlatsi, Fagrie Lakay, Luther Singh, Evidence Makgopa, Lyle Foster and Kobamelo Kodisang.
Coaches and management: Mxolisi Sibam, David Notoane, Kwanele Kopo, Wendell Robinson and Nomthandazo Ncube.