With just one week to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics on 23 July 2021, here are the key things you NEED to know about TeamSA that will travel to Tokyo for their chance to make history.
South Africa (16 July 2021) – With the days ticking down before the much-anticipated showdown gets underway in Japan on July 23, South Africa has selected arguably its strongest ever team for the forthcoming Olympics in Tokyo. Some competitions, such as football and softball, start two days before the opening ceremony.
South Africa will take part in 17 of the 33 Olympic sports on offer at this year’s Games, including recently introduced sports skateboarding and sport climbing.
Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have agreed to hold the Games without spectators after Japan declared a coronavirus state of emergency for the capital that will run throughout the event.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said it was key to prevent Tokyo, where the highly infectious Delta COVID-19 variant was spreading, from becoming the source of another wave of infections.
It was confirmed earlier this month that Team South Africa (TeamSA) will take a full squad to travel to the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ for their chance to make history. Notable partakers from the squad include the likes of Irvette van Zyl, Wayde van Niekerk, Johan Spies and Akani Simbine, in athletics and cycling respectively.
Chad le Clos, South Africa’s most decorated Olympian with four medals – one gold and three silvers – will also be going to his third Games to represent us in the pool.
The 29-year-old Le Clos made waves on his debut in London 2012, where he out-touched American swimming icon Michael Phelps in the 200m butterfly final for the gold medal.
The 25-year-old Nic Dlamini’s debut at the Tour de France is the epitome of a rags-to-riches journey from growing up in abject poverty in one of Cape Town’s informal settlements to mixing it with some of the world’s best road cyclists. Dlamini will represent South Africa in the men’s road cycling at the Games. He became the first black South African to compete at the Tour de France after being announced as a member of Team Qhubeka ASSOS’ eight-rider roster for this year’s race.
“The four years lengthened further by the postponement of the Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic has not been easy for our athletes,” Ravi Govender, SASCOC Acting CEO, said.
“It therefore gives me great joy and a sense of national pride to be part of this moment as we celebrate the achievements of our athletes in qualifying to represent our nation as Team SA at the Tokyo Olympics. We call upon our entire nation to support our athletes as they give off their best at these prestigious games to bring us honour.”
It was in Rio that TeamSA returned with 10 medals, which improved on the six medals that were won at London 2012.
The action will wind down to a close on August 8 with the Closing Ceremony.
Tokyo’s new Olympic Stadium will be the focal point of the Games and will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, athletics, and various football matches. The stadium was constructed with a hybrid wood and steel frame, with the wood in the roof structure coming from all 47 prefectures in Japan.
The Urban Park concept, which proved so successful at the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games, will also be in operation. BMX and skateboarding will take place at Ariake Urban Sports Park with Aomi Urban Sports Park staging sport climbing and 3X3 basketball.
There are also four existing venues that were used at the 1964 Olympic Games: the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium (table tennis), Yoyogi National Stadium (handball), Nippon Budokan (judo and karate), and Equestrian Park.
Baseball and softball will be held in the Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium in the east of Japan, in the prefecture most affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
Just north of Fukushima is Miyagi, another city hit by the tsunami, which will host football preliminary games and quarter-finals.
Good Things Guy will be covering the Games, so you won’t miss out on a single medal won. But if you’d like to see TeamSA in action, the public broadcaster’s Sports Channel will broadcast all the events.
Men: Akani Simbine, Clarence Munyai, Antonio Alkana, Cheswill Johnson, Ruswahl Samaai, Rocco van Rooyen, Jason van Rooyen, Stephen Mokoka, Desmond Mokgobu, Elroy Gelant, Wayne Snyman, Kyle Blignaut, Marc Mundell, Wayde van Niekerk, Gift Leotlela, Anaso Jobodwana, Thapelo Phora, Sokwakhana Zazini, Lebogang Shange, Shaun Maswanganyi, Galaletsang Ramorwa, Chederick van Wyk, Pieter Conradie, Ranto Dikgale, Oscar Mavundla, Derrick Mokaleng, Zakhiti Nene, Lythe Pillay, Precious Mashele.
Women: Wenda Nel, Dominique Scott, Gerda Steyn, Irvette van Zyl, Jo-Ane van Dyk.
Diving and Open Water Swimming
Men: Michael Mcglynn
Women: Michelle Weber, Julia Vincent and Micaela Bouter
Men: Ethan du Preez, Chad le Clos, Pieter Coetze, Bradley Tandy, Michael Houlie, Matthew Sates, Martin Binedell
Women: Tatjana Schoenmaker, Kaylene Corbett, Emma Chelius, Erin Gallagher, Rebecca Meder, Dune Coetzee, Mariella Venter, Aimee Canny
Laura Strugnell, Clarissa Johnston, Vicky Drinkwater (coach)
Erin Sterkenburg, Chris Cosser Cycling Johan Spies, Charlene Du Preez, David Maree, Ryan Gibbons, Nicholas Dlamini, Ashleigh Pasio-Moolman, Carla Oberholzer, Alan Hatherly, Candice Lill, Alex Limberg, Stefan De Bod
Johan Spies, Charlene Du Preez, David Maree, Ryan Gibbons, Nicholas Dlamini, Ashleigh Pasio-Moolman, Carla Oberholzer, Alan Hatherly, Candice Lill, Alex Limberg, Stefan De Bod
Tanya Seymour, Victoria Legendre-Scott
Women: Quanita Bobbs, Erin Christie, Lisa Deetlefs, Lilian Du Plessis, Nicole Erasmus, Tarryn Glasby, Robyn Johnson, Charne Maddocks, Lerato Mahole, Phumelela Mbande, Edith Molikoe, Kristen Paton, Tarryn Potts, Celia Seerane, Nomnikelo Veto, Onthatile Zulu
Men: Erasmus Pieterse, Timothy Drummond, Austin Smith, Mohamed Mea, Matthew GuiseBrown, Jethro Eustice, Nduduzo Lembethe, Taine Paton, Nicholas Spooner, Clinton Panther, Samkelo Mvimbi, Abdul Cassiem, Mustapha Cassiem, Nqobile Ntuli, Keenan Horne, Tevin Kok
Men: Ronwen Williams, Mondli Mpoto, Sifiso Mlungwana, Tercious Malepe, Luke Fleurs, Sibusiso Mabiliso, Thabiso Monyane, Katlego Mohamme, Teboho Mokoena, Thabo Cele, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Goodman Mosele, Kamohelo Mahlatsi, Luther Singh, Evidence Makgopa, Kobamelo Kodisang
Garrick Higgo, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Ashleigh Buhai
Caitlin Rooskrantz, Naveen Daries Judo, Geronay Whitebooi
Lawrence Brittain, John Smith, Sandro Torrento, Kyle Schoonbee, Jake Green, Luc Daffarn
Kurt-Lee Arendse, Angelo Davids, Zain Davids, Selvyn Davids, Chris Dry, Branco du Preez, Ronald Brown, Stedman Gans, Justin Geduld, Sakoyisa Makata, JC Pretorius, Siviwe Soyizwapi (captain), Impi Visser
Alex Burger, Benjamin Daniel, Leo Davis
Melissa Williams, Andrew Oberholzer, Boipelo Awuah, Brandon Valjalo
Henri Schoeman, Richard Murray, Gillian Sanders, Simone Ackermann
Women: Amica Hallenndorff, Shakira January, Meghan Maartens, Chloe Meecham, Georgie Moir, Boati Motau, Hannah Muller, Daniela Passoni, Megan Sileno, Ashleigh Vaughn, Jordan Wedderburn, Kelsey White. Reserve: Yanah Gerber.
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.
Elton Davids (Team Manager and BMX Coach)
Ian Goetham (Road Coach)
Moosa Classen (Track Mechanic)
Jean-Pierre Jacobs (Mountain Bike Manager Coach and Mechanic)
Carl Pasio (Road Coach)
Brigette Mileson (Track Coach Manager)
Gary Blem (Road Mechanic)