Six medal contenders named in second Olympic team announcement
Wayde van Niekerk, Chad le Clos, Lawrence Brittain and John Smith headlined the second batch of 69 athletes added to the Tokyo-bound Team SA on Thursday night.
Van Niekerk, who qualified only on Saturday, swimmer Le Clos and rower Smith all have Olympic gold medals from past Games, while Brittain, who will partner Smith in the men’s four, owns a silver and the Blitz Boks and triathlete Henri Schoeman a bronze each.
Throw in surfer Jordy Smith and this batch features no fewer than six of SA’s medal hopes at the Tokyo showpiece from July 24 until August 8.
A total of nine disciplines were named as part of the launch of SABC Sport’s 24-hour channel, but swimming was the only one where coaches and team officials were not included, strengthening the claim that the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) was still looking into allegations of sexual abuse levelled against one of them.
Sascoc’s acting CEO Ravi Govender declined to comment, saying more swimmers were still to be added to the team.
By contrast only three athletes were named — Van Niekerk, Kyle Blignaut (shot put) and Marc Mundell (50km walk) — but that didn’t stop Sascoc from naming the code’s coaches and management.
The bulk of the track and field squad will be finalised after the qualifying window ends on Tuesday.
Cyclist Stefan de Bod was listed as the replacement for the injured Daryl Impey, and seven rowers were named in all. The seventh, however, was Leo Davis, a former member of the national squad who qualified in sailing.
The total number of athletes in Team SA so far is 133, just a few short of the record 138 who went to Rio 2016.
Govender expected another 35-odd athletes to be added, including the men’s under-23 football team.
The total number of officials, including medical staff, would be about 80. Medical staff would include psychologists, Govender said.
The teams named on Thursday:
Blitz Boks: 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
Coaches and management: Neil Powell, Renfred Dazel, Ghafoer Luckan, Ashley Evert
Women’s water polo: Amica Hallenndorff, Shakira January, Meghan Maartens, Chloe Meecham, Georgie Moir, Boati Motau, Hannah Muller, Daniela Passoni, Megan Sileno, Ashleigh Vaughn, Jordan Wedderburn, Kelsey White
Coaches and management: Candice Williams, Delaine Mentor, Duncan Woods
Men’s water polo: Ignardus Badenhorst, Devon Card, Jason Evezard, Cameron Laurenson, Lwzi Madi, Farouk Mayman, Yaseen Margro, Liam Neill, Roarke Olver, Nicholas Rodda, Donn Stewart, Ross Stone
Coaches and management: Rowen Meth, Paul Martin, Vaughan Marlow
Swimming: Tatjana Schoenmaker, Kaylene Corbett, Emma Chelius, Erin Gallagher, Ethan du Preez, Chad le Clos, Pieter Coetze, Bradley Tandy, Michael Houlie, Matthew Sates, Women’s 4x100m medley relay (Mariella Venter, Tatjana Schoenmaker, Erin Gallagher, Aimee Canny)
Artistic swimming: Laura Strugnell, Clarissa Johnston
Coaches and management: Vicky Drinkwater
Skateboarding: Melissa Williams, Andre Oberholzer, Boipelo Awuah, Brandon Valjalo
Coach/manager: Wendy Gila
Triathlon: Gillian Sanders, Henri Schoeman, Simon Ackermann, Richard Murray
Coaches and management: Kate Murray, Lindsey Parry
Sailing: Leo Davis
Coach/manager: Victor Davis
Surfing: Jordy Smith
Coach/manager: Isaac February
Rowing: Lawrence Brittain (men’s four), John Smith (men’s four), Sandro Torrento (men’s four), Kyle Schoonbee (men’s four), Jake Green (men’s pair), Luc Daffarn (men’s pair)
Coaches and management: Roger Barrow, Marco Galeone
Athletics: Kyle Blignaut, Marc Mundell, Wayde van Niekerk
Coaches and management: Jean Verster, Hezekiel Sepeng, Paul Gorries, Irma Reyneke, Hendrik Ramaala, Pierre Blignaut, Jennifer Kingwell
Cycling: Stefan de Bod