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Paris Olympics | SASCOC names Team SA squad for 2024 Games

Team SA Olympics Paris 2024

Financial incentives available to all medallists from both the Olympics and Paralympics

An initial squad of 39 members across seven codes has been named to represent Team SA at the Paris Olympics in July. The sports represented in the first list are aquatics, athletics, canoeing, gymnastics, sport climbing, surfing, and wrestling.

Qualifying is ongoing among a number of different sports, and even those who are listed below may change in terms of additions.

In making the announcement in Johannesburg on Wednesday, the South African Sports Confederation, Olympic and Paralympic Committee (SASCOC) also revealed the financial incentives available to all medallists from both the Olympics and Paralympics. Athletes who win gold will be awarded R400,000, with the coach receiving R100,000. Silver medalists will earn R200,000 and R50,000, while the bronze medal payouts will be R75,000 and R25,000 for the athlete and coach, respectively.

The standout names from those announced by SASCOC in Johannesburg on Wednesday included the double medalist from Tokyo 2020, swimmer Tatjana Smith (formerly Schoenmaker), swimmer Chad Le Clos, and sprinter Akani Simbine.

Smith won gold in the women’s 200m breaststroke and silver in the 100m breaststroke in Tokyo, while Le Clos will be attending his fourth Olympics. He joins an exclusive club including Khotso Mokoena, Ryk Neethling, Hendrik Ramaala, Roland Schoeman, and Sunette Viljoen. Le Clos has already entered the history books as the winner of the most Olympic medals (four) by a South African and he’ll be looking to add to that tally in Paris.

 

Another Olympic medalist who will be in Paris is men’s 400m gold hero from Rio 2016, Wayde van Niekerk. His 43.03 seconds on that occasion remains the world record.

The women’s athletics representatives include three in the marathon – Gerda Steyn, 15th in Tokyo 2020, who has since lowered the South African record to 2hr 24min 3sec and is widely considered the world’s finest ultra-marathoner, Cian Oldknow, and Irvette van Zyl, who is attending her third Olympics.

One gold medalist from the recent African Games in Ghana has also been included in the initial squad and will be making her first Olympic appearance – women’s 400m hurdles athlete Rogain Joseph.

There is a lot of experience in the first squad. A total of 15 members of the 39 competed at Tokyo 2020: Aimee Canny, Pieter Coetze, Le Clos, Kaylene Corbett, Erin Gallagher, Rebecca Meder, Zakhiti Nene, Caitlin Rooskrantz, Matthew Sates, Simbine, Smith, Steyn, Van Niekerk, Van Zyl, and Julia Vincent.

The President of SASCOC, Barry Hendricks, congratulated all the athletes who have qualified and have been selected to represent Team SA. “The Olympics are the pinnacle of any elite athlete’s career and selection should be celebrated as such. It’s exciting, and a compliment to the quality that exists within South Africa, that we are able to announce a squad across numerous sports that is bursting with talent, achievers, and potential.

“These young men and women will be ambassadors for South Africa, and there’s so much more to being an Olympian than merely representing on the field of play. I want to congratulate each and every athlete selected and wish them well in their preparations for Paris.”

The CEO of SASCOC, Nozipho Jafta, echoed Mr. Hendricks’ sentiments. “We’re at a hugely exciting stage of our preparations for Paris. There are now only 72 days to go until the start of the Games and these athletes have so much to look forward to. Of course, this is only the first wave of athletes to be selected.

“Special mention must go to the investment and support of Bidvest through the Operation Excellence (OPEX) programme. Some 23 of the initial 39 athletes are on that programme, receiving funding and assistance as they prepare to compete at the highest level of their sport. In addition, the Federations are receiving funds through ANOCA’s Olympic Solidarity programme to help with their preparations. I would also like to acknowledge the commitment and support from all our partners and sponsors, without whom delivering a team to the Olympics would not be possible.”

The second squad announcement will be made in June as there are a number of Federations and codes that are either finalising their squads or still in the process of a qualifying competition.

Team SA’s Chef de Mission will be Leon Fleiser and the Deputy Chef de Mission, Patience Shikwambana. The 2024 Olympics will be held from 26th July to 11th August.

The first squad is:

AQUATICS (9)
Men: Pieter Coetze (100m, 200m backstroke), Chad le Clos (100m butterfly), Matthew Sates (100m, 200m butterfly and 200m IM)
Women: Aimee Canny (200m freestyle), Kaylene Corbett (200m breaststroke), Erin Gallagher (100m butterfly), Rebecca Meder (200m IM), Tatjana Smith (100m, 200m breaststroke), Julia Vincent (diving, 3m springboard)

ATHLETICS (17)
Men: Luxolo Adams (200m), Stephen Mokoka (marathon), Zakhiti Nene (400m), Lythe Pillay (400m), Benjamin Richardson (200m), Akani Simbine (100m), Tshepo Tshite (1500m), Wayde van Niekerk (400m), Jovan van Vuuren (long jump), Adriaan Wildschutt (5000m, 10000m)
Women: Marione Fourie (100mH), Zeney Geldenhuys (400mH), Rogail Joseph (400mH), Cian Oldknow (marathon), Prudence Sekgodiso (800m), Gerda Steyn (marathon), Irvette van Zyl (marathon)

CANOEING (4)
Men: Andrew Birkett (kayak sprint), Hamish Lovemore (kayak sprint)
Women: Tiffany Koch (kayak sprint), Esti Olivier (kayak sprint) |
Management: Nkosi Mzolo (coach), Janet Simpkins (manager)

GYMNASTICS (1)
Women: Caitlin Rooskrantz (artistic)
Management: Ilse Pelser (coach)

SPORT CLIMBING (4)
Men: Joshua Bruyns (speed climbing), Mel Janse van Rensburg (lead & boulder)
Women: Aniya Holder (speed climbing), Lauren Mubheiber (lead & boulder) Management: Dean Bruyns (manager), John-David Muller (official coach)

SURFING (3)
Men: Matthew McGillivray, Jordy Smith
Women: Sarah Ann Baum
Management: Christopher Bond (coach), Rezar De Nicker (coach, manager)

WRESTLING (1)
Men: Nicholas Steyn (92kg)
Management: Jan Roets (coach)

SA Team, SASCOC, Team SA, Olympics, Olympic Games, Paris 2024 Olympic Games

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