JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s team excelled at the Confederation of University and College Sports Association Games in Botswana last month, almost doubling their medal tally from two years ago.
Madibaz director of sport Yoliswa Lumka, who was deputy head of the SA delegation, says they are extremely happy with the final outcome. The team retained the title they won in Zimbabwe, where they won 31 medals in 2016.
This time they returned with a haul of 59 medals from the event, which was held in Gaborone from June 18 to 23.
The Games are held biennially and involve 10 countries – Botswana, Angola, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia. Angola and Mozambique did not send teams this year.
Lumka said there were a number of highlights for the SA team.
“Among these were the fantastic performances from our table tennis team. The five players won 19 medals.
“In the 4x400m men’s relay the baton was knocked out of the hand of our first runner and they had to make up about 100 metres. But they still managed to win by about 20 metres!”
Funding for events of this kind is always a challenge, she added. “The tournament was self-funded, which meant that either the institutions or the athletes themselves had to cover their costs.
“There were a few issues with the organisation of some events, but we learned that you just have to focus on always giving your best, regardless of the circumstances and challenges.
“Our goal for these games was 32 medals – one more than the last outing. We almost doubled that, which is an unbelievable feat.”
African News Agency (ANA)