Swimming makes up the largest contingent of South Africa’s 2018 Commonwealth Games squad, but what is of concern is that just four women will represent the country in the athletics. By ANTOINETTE MULLER.
The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) announced a large contingent of South African athletes for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Tuesday.
South African athletes will compete across a number of sporting codes ranging from athletes to boxing and even lawn bowls with aquatics making up the biggest number of participants (28). A number of para-athletes will also join the squad on the Australian Gold Coast for the event from 4-15 April 2018.
Aquatics also boasts the two youngest members of the team, with Luan Grobbelaar and Dune Coetzee, both aged 15 while lawn bowler, Princess Schreuder, at 67, is the oldest competitor in the team.
Notably absent from the men’s athletics squad is golden boy Wayde van Niekerk, who will not compete as a result of injury.
Familiar names include Rio Olympics gold medallist Caster Semenya, silver medallist swimmers Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos, field athletes Luvo Manyonga and Sunette Viljoen and bronze medallists Henri Schoeman (triathlon) and the men’s rugby sevens side. Both the men’s and women’s hockey teams, who did not feature at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will make the trip to Australia.
While the boost in numbers for female swimmers is encouraging – South Africa sent no women to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games – just four women will represent South Africa in athletics compared to the 10 athletes who travelled to Rio. Sascoc has not clarified its selection criteria so it is unclear why only four women made the cut for the athletics team.
South Africa finished seventh at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and while Sascoc president Gideon Sam was coy about a medal target, he did say the team wants to target finishing at least fifth.
Since readmission, South Africa has sent teams to six Commonwealth Games starting with the 1994 Games in Victoria, British Colombia. During this period they have finished fifth on the medals table on three occasions (Kuala Lumpur, 1998; Melbourne, 2006; and New Delhi, 2010).
And if you’re wondering what the team will be wearing, well Sport Minister Thulas Nxesi quipped: “ (We will) Make sure the athletes lack for nothing, no more dodgy tracksuits.” DM
Full list of athletes representing South Africa at the 2018 Commonwealth Games
Women: Erin Gallagher, Tatjana Schoenmaker, Dune Coetzee, Kate Beavon, Kaylene Corbett, Emily Visagie, Marlies Ross, Nathania van Niekerk, Kristin Bellingan, Mariella Venter and Emma Chelius
Men: Ayrton Sweeney, Cameron van der Burgh, Chad le Clos, Jarryd Baxter, Brad Tandy, Brent Szurdoki, Martin Binedell, Ryan Coetzee, Eben Vorster, Luan Grobbelaar, Calvyn Justus and Michael Houlie.
Para-swimming: Christian Sadie, Kaleb van der Merwe
Diving: Nicole Gillis, Micaela Bouter, Julia Vincent
Women: Caster Semenya, Sunette Viljoen and Wenda Nel.
Men: Akani Simbine, Antonio Alkana, Constant Pretorius, LJ van Zyl, Lebogang Shange, Wayne Snyman, Luvo Manyonga, Ruswahl Samaai, Phil-Mar Janse van Rensburg and Breyton Poole.
Para-athletics: Women: Juanelie Meijer
Men: Ndodomzi Ntutu, Hilton Langenhoven, Dyan Buis, Charl du Toit, Union Sekailwe, Reinhardt Hamman and Juanre Jenkinson
Women: Elsie de Villiers, Johanita Scholtz and Michelle Butler-Emmett
Men: Bongani von Bodenstein, Cameron Coetzer and Prakash Vijayanath
Siyabulela Mphongoshi and Sinethemba Blom.
Women: Ashleigh Moolman Pasio
Men: Willie Smit, Nicholas Dlamini, Clint Hendricks and Brendon Davids
Women: Charlene du Preez, Elfriede Wolfaardt, Ilze Bole, Danielle van Niekerk and Adelia Neethling
Men: Steven van Heerden, Nolan Hoffmann, David Maree, Joshua van Wyk andGert Fouchè
Women: Mariske Strauss and Cherie Redecker
Men: Alan Hatherly
Men’s team: Gowan Jones, Siyavuya Nolutshungu, Daniel Bell, Jethro Eustice, Gareth Heyns, Tyson Dlungwana, Austin Smith, Daniel Sibbald, Timothy Drummond, Reza Rosenburg, Ryan Julius, Owen Mvimbi, Clinton Panther, Nqobile Ntuli, Abdud-?Dayaan Cassiem, Keenan Horne, Tevin Kok and Ryan Crowe.
Women’s team: Phumelela Mbande, Nicole la Fleur, Erin Hunter, Nicole Walraven, Lisa-?Marie Deetlefs, Celia Evans, Nicolene Terblanche, Shelley Jones, Quanita Bobbs, Kristen Paton, Ilse Davids, Stephanie Baxter, Ongeziwe Mali, Dirkie Chamberlain, Candice Manuel, Sulette Damons, Jade Mayne and Bernadette Coston.
Women: Elma Davis, Esme Kruger, Nicolene Neal, Colleen Piketh and Johanna Snyman
Men: Gerald Baker, Petrus Breitenbach, Jason Evans, Josephus Jacobs and Morgan Muvhango
Women: Princess Schroeder
Director: Annatjie van Rooyen
Men: Tobias Botha, Willem Viljoen, Christopher Patton and Philippus Walker
Director: Graham Ward
Bongiwe Msomi, Karla Pretorius, Erin Burger, Izette Griesel, Maryka Holtzhausen, Danelle Lochner, Phumza Maweni, Precious Mthembu, Shadine van der Merwe, Ine-?Mari Venter, Zanele Vimbela and Lenize Potgieter
Men’s team: To be announced end of February
Women’s team: Nadine Roos, Eloise Webb, Unathi Mali, Rights Mkhari, Zintle Mpupha, Veroeshka Grain, Zenay Jordaan, Marithy Pienaar, Mathrin Simmers, Christelene Steinhobel, Chane Stadler and Zinthle Ndawonde
Bartholomeus Pienaar, Pierre Basson, Arno Haasbroek and Andre du Toit.
Women: Gillian Sanders and Simone Ackermann.
Men: Richard Murray, Henri Schoeman and Wian Sullwald.
Johanni Taljaard, Mona Pretorius and Celestie Engelbrecht
Jan Louwrens Combrinck, Terry van Rensburg, Johannes Botha, Michael Gaitskill and Martin Erasmus.
Photo: Caster Semenya of South Africa celebrates after winning the women’s 800m final at the London 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, Britain, 13 August 2017. Photo: EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON
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