SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) have named a 169-member team, including 13 athletes and 8 para-athletes, to represent South Africa at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia between 4-15 April.
Team South Africa athletes will do battle across 16 codes, including para-sports athletics, lawn bowls, swimming, table tennis and powerlifting.
Sporting codes with South African participation are the following: athletics, aquatics, badminton, lawn bowls, boxing, cycling (mountain bike, road, track), gymnastics, hockey, netball, rugby sevens, shooting, table tennis, triathlon, weightlifting, and wrestling.
The men’s sevens rugby team will only be announced at the end of February, the governing body confirmed, and the 4x100m men’s relay athletics team would also be revealed at a later stage.
Other team sports will see women’s rugby sevens, men’s and women’s hockey sides and the women’s netballers in action while there are also team disciplines in track cycling and triathlon.
‘As SASCOC we’re very excited to deliver this team for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games,’ says SASCOC President Gideon Sam. ‘Many hours of planning have gone into preparing this team.
‘Two years out from the Tokyo Olympics, these Games are a great platform to see where our sportsmen and women, both established and developing, are on the world stage.
‘You will see that it’s a great blend of experience and raw talent and I’m confident we’ll once again be right up there with the cream of Commonwealth countries and looking to improve on our seventh place on the medals table in Glasgow four years ago.
‘I urge every athlete to go to Australia and be the very best athlete they can be and fly the rainbow nation’s flag high.’
Project Manager and Chef de Mission for the Team, Ezera Tshabangu commented. ‘The selection process has been a tough one given that for the first time, the CGF had a hybrid selection process where some sports had open selection while some had specific qualification criteria set by the IFs and CGF.
"The High Performance Commission played a key role in assessing every name put forward for consideration before making recommendations to the Board.’
‘We wish all the selected athletes and officials the best in their final months of preparation for the Games and trust that the team will meet the objective of improving the 7th place position attained in the Glasgow 2014 Games,’ added Tshabangu.
SASCOC Acting CEO, Patience Shikwambana also wished the team well. “I believe we have a strong team with established stars who have excelled exceptionally on the international arena including at renowned events such as the Olympics, Paralympics and previous Commonwealth Games as well.
“It is my hope that the team improves on the medal count South Africa achieved in Glasgow in 2014 so that we continue to progress in our performances and build a stronger brand on the international front,’ Shikwambana concluded.
Aquatics is the biggest code in terms of numbers with 28 (23 swimmers, three divers and two para-swimmers). Athletics and cycling both feature 18.
Two codes, para-table tennis and para-powerlifting both have just one competitor.
Aquatics boasts the two youngest members of the team, in the form of Luan Grobbelaar and Dune Coetzee, both aged 15 while lawn bowler Princess Schreuder, at 67, is the oldest competitor in the team.
The team includes Rio Olympics gold medallist track athlete, 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.
Para-sport also features Rio Paralympics double gold medallist Charl du Toit and gold medallists, Hilton Langenhoven, Reinhardt Hamman and Dyan Buis.
Since being admitted back into the global sports family, South Africa have sent teams to six Commonwealth Games around the globe 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).
At the last Games, in Glasgow four years ago, the team ended seventh with a total medal count of 40 (13 gold, 10 silver and 17 bronze).
Team SA for Gold Coast 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.
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 and Gert 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.