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Team SA announced for 2019 African Games

by ZwemZa on July 15th, 2019

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA – APRIL 08: during day 1 of the SA National Aquatic Championships at Kings Park Swimming Pool on April 08, 2019 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

A squad of 153 athletes and officials will fly South Africa’s flag high at this year’s 12th edition of the African Games to be held in Morocco from August 16-31.

The team will have representation in 11 out of 26 sporting codes being contested at the games.

As per the norm at the African Games, Team SA’s biggest contingent will come from athletics with a total of 38 athletes followed by Swimming with a total of 24 athletes. Other codes that will form part of the team are: archery, badminton, canoeing, cycling, judo, table tennis, tennis, beach volleyball, and weightlifting.

Previously known as All Africa games, the African Games is an important multi-coded event and the highest pinnacle of continental games held every four years – one year before the Olympic Games.

At the former games in Congo Brazzaville, 2015, Team SA performed exceptionally and won a total of 122 medals, 41 gold, 41 silver and 40 bronze placing third on the medal table.

The team is a great blend of experienced athletes who have performed well at the highest level in different international events.

110m and 400m hurdlers Antonio Alkana and Lindsey Hanekom will spearhead a powerful men’s athletics team. Zeney Van Der Walt and Sunette Viljoen will be leading a powerful women’s athletics team. These four are ranked 1st in the continent in their respective events.

South African sprint canoer and London 2012 bronze medallist, Bridgitte Hartley will be the most experienced leading the strong canoeing team.

Swimming boasts an experienced team with the likes of Michael Houlie, flag bearer and gold medallist at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games and bronze medallist at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

In addition, Gold Coast Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mona Pretorius will be part of the weightlifting team.

SASCOC President, Gideon Sam commented: “African Games is a very important event in our calendar, the highest pinnacle of competition in the continent. As these Games come a year before Olympics, it is a benchmark for our athletes on their road to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“Previously we have sent a big team of almost 300 athletes, but as highlighted before, this year it will be impossible to send a team of 300 people due to financial constraints. However, though the team is lean, it is a strong team of experienced athletes and we mostly included the athletes who will use these games as a qualifier for Olympic Games.”

“Take these Games with the seriousness they deserve and give it your all as you will face much more competition in Tokyo. Congratulations to the team on your selection and we wish you well in Morocco,” concluded Sam.

The Cycling team is being finalised and will be announced in due course.

The team is as follows:

SWIMMING:

Female: Erin Gallagher, Kaylene Corbett, Jessica Whelan, Sinelithemba Mbatha, Emma Chelius, Carla Tina Antonopoulos, Samantha Randle, Christin Mundell, Kerryn Herbst

Male: Michael Houlie, Michael McGlynn, Christopher Reid, Ryan Coetzee, Douglas Erasmus, Alaric Basson, Alard Basson, Roberto Gomes, Brent Szurdoki, Neil Fair, Martin Binedell, Mohammad Warley, Bradley Tandy, Ayrton Sweeney, Eben Vorster

Coaches: Nonkululeko Mngadi, Graham Hill, Debbie McLeod, Mark Edge

Sport24

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