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- Mthembu puts SA back on podium… after 23 years!
- Reverse strategy puts Waschefort in front
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- Blitzboks skipper calls for improvement on home soil
- Runaway Test win for South Africa in India
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Sam praises Moodie
- Updated: June 15, 2009
Wesley Moodie’s victory in the prestigious Queen’s Club event in London at the weekend is vindication of his selection in the OPEX Elite Olympic Road to London 2012 squad, according to SASCOC president Gideon Sam.
Moodie, the 2005 Wimbledon doubles champion, has been earmarked by SASCOC to play in the doubles event in London in 2012 along with Jeff Coetzee. At the weekend the South African teamed up with the Russian Mikhail Youzhny to clinch the final over sixth-seeded Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa.
Moodie, 30, was contesting his third successive Tour-level final after reaching the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid final before finishing runner-up at the French Open at Roland Garros with Belgium’s Dick Norman the week before Queen’s. The world No12 clinched his first ATP World Tour doubles title since winning at 2008 Estoril with Jeff Coetzee.
Said Sam: ÔÇ£On behalf of SASCOC I’d like to extend congratulations to Wesley. The victory will be a big confidence booster heading into Wimbledon next week, and that’s a tournament he’s also won. London is obviously a happy hunting ground for him, which is another reason why there is optimism about him being in the squad, with the next Olympics being staged in London!
ÔÇ£He might be 30 and when he was selected for the OPEX squad there were some mutterings about him being a bit old by 2012. But he’s a young 30 and given that he’s concentrating on the doubles aspect of his game, he will be at the top of his game at the next Olympics,ÔÇØ Sam added.
The SASCOC boss also paid tribute to South Africa’s swimmers and track and field athletes who starred in Europe at the weekend. ÔÇ£When we start speaking about ’12 in 12′, we know that our swimmers and athletes are going to have to pull their weight for us to achieve that medal target. So it’s encouraging to see how the swimmers did at the Mare Nostrum event in France — Roland Schoeman and Gerhard Zandberg were among those winning gold on the final day — but possibly the best performance came from Khotso Mokoena in the long jump at the IAAF Golden League meet in Berlin. Well done to all concerned,ÔÇØ Sam said.
Mokoena, South Africa’s only Olympic medallist from Beijing, won the long jump with a leap of 8.33m; his silver medal-winning effort at Beijing had been 8.24m, so it shows he is going the right way leading to the World Championships in Rome in August.