Tatjana Schoenmaker, Chad Le Clos in latest Team SA squad as Blitzboks to make more cuts for Tokyo Olympics
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CAPE TOWN – Two of South Africa’s main medal hopes, Tatjana Schoenmaker and Chad le Clos, have been officially included in the national team for the Tokyo Olympics.
Sascoc made the announcement of a second group of Team SA members during a live broadcast on SABC on Thursday night, with breaststroke star Schoenmaker listed for the 100m and 200m races, as well as the 4x100m medley relay.
Le Clos, who has one gold and three silver Olympic medals to his name, will target the 100m and 200m butterfly events, and may still push in the 200m freestyle as well.
Among the athletics group, 400m Rio Games champion Wayde van Niekerk has made the cut after running a qualifying time of 44.56 in Madrid last Saturday, while American-based sprinter Shaun Maswanganyi was included alongside Gift Leotlela.
Shot put star Kyle Blignaut’s participation was confirmed, as well as 50km walk athlete Marc Mundell.
A 17-man preliminary squad was announced for the Blitzboks rugby sevens team, with coach Neil Powell still to cut it down to 12, with two travelling reserves, a week before they depart for Tokyo on July 12.
Bulls stars Stedman Gans and Kurt-Lee Arendse are still in the mix, while Justin Geduld and Dylan Sage – who were part of the 2016 Rio Games squad that clinched a bronze medal – have been included again.
“I am pleased with this group; they really deserve this chance to contest for the ultimate prize in sport,” Powell said in a statement on Thursday night.
“We are still five weeks away from our first match, so I have some time left to make the difficult decision to leave three guys behind, but they will be on stand-by in any case.
“Rugby is a funny game though, especially with injuries and the uncertainties around Covid, so the door is never closed for anyone, even from outside of this group.”
Rio Olympic bronze medallist Henri Schoeman is back in the triathlon team for Tokyo, while among the new sports, Jordy Smith is in the surfing squad and there were four members in the skateboarding group – Melissa Williams, Andrew Oberholzer, Boipelo Awuah and Brandon Valjalo.
The men’s and women’s waterpolo squads were also announced.
The Tokyo Olympics will take place from July 23 to August 8.
Team South Africa
Aquatics: Tatjana Schoenmaker, Kaylene Corbett, Emma Chelius, Erin Gallagher, Ethan du Preez, Chad le Clos, Pieter Coetze, Bradley Tandy, Michael Houlie, Matthew Sates. 4x100m Medley Relay: Mariella Venter, Aimee Canny, Erin Gallagher, Tatjana Schoenmaker.
Artistic Swimming: Laura Strugnell, Clarissa Johnston.
Athletics: Kyle Blignaut, Marc Mundell, Wayde van Niekerk, Shaun Maswanganyi, Gift Leotlela. Coaches and management: Jean Verster, Hezekiel Sepeng, Paul Gorries, Irma Reyneke, Hendrik Ramaala, Pierre Blignaut, Jennifer Kingwell.
Cycling: Stefan de Bod.
Rowing: Jake Green, John Smith, Kyle Schoonbee, Matthew Brittain, Sandro Torrente, Luc Daffarn. Coaches and management: Roger Barrow, Marco Galleone.
Rugby Sevens (preliminary): Sakoyisa Makata, Dylan Sage, Impi Visser, Zain Davids, Angelo Davids, JC Pretorius, Branco du Preez, Selvyn Davids, Justin Geduld, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Stedman Gans, Ronald Brown, Chris Dry, Ruhan Nel, Muller du Plessis, Lubabalo Dobela.
Sailing: Leo Davis.
Skateboarding: Melissa Williams, Andrew Oberholzer, Boipelo Awuah, Brandon Valjalo.
Surfing: Jordy Smith.
Triathlon: Henri Schoeman, Richard Murray, Gillian Sanders, Simone Ackermann.
Waterpolo Men: Ignardus Badenhorst, Devon Card, Jason Evezard, Cameron Laurenson, Lwazi Madi, Farouk Mayman, Yaseen Margro, Liam Neill, Roarke Olver, Nicholas Rodda, Donn Stewart, Ross Stone, Gareth May (Reserve). Coaches and management: Rowen Meth, Paul Martin, Vaughn Marlow.
Waterpolo Women: Amica Hallendorff, Shakira January, Megan Maartens, Chloe Meecham, Georgia Moir, Boati Motau, Hannah Muller, Daniela Passoni, Megan Sileno, Ashleigh Vaughn, Jordan Wedderburn, Kelsey White, Yanah Gerber (Reserve). Coaches and management: Candice Williams, Delaine Mentoor, Duncan Woods.