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AAG: first codes depart

By Mark Etheridge

The boxing and volleyball codes formed the vanguard of Team South Africa’s 2011 All Africa Games campaign on Monday.

These two codes jetted off to Maputo, Mozambique ahead of their counterparts as they are among the first sporting codes in action.

Team manager for boxing, Herman Beukes said he had high hopes for the team who recently returned from a training camp in Cuba. “We’re taking nine boxers over and ideally we’d like to get nine medals.

“I don’t want to single people out but I have to mention Ladumo Lamati in the 52kg division. This is a brilliant prospect and he’s only 18.

“Gift Pilane is ranked 15th in the world in the 49kg division and Lusisi Siphiwe 26th in the 69kg. I also think Hobwana Ransom can shine in the 75kg category but to be honest, all the guys going can do well.”

After their return from Cuba the group had the opportunity to host their Algerian counterparts at a training camp in Bloemfontein. “Algeria are the top-ranked amateur boxing nation in Africa and it was good experience. Our guys certainly did not take a step back. Algeria and Tunisia will be our main rivals at the Games,” concluded Beukes.

For volleyball, team manager Mkheyi Mbizo said the South Africans were currently ranked fifth in Africa.

“We’ve got a full-strength side here and recently held two training camps in Johannesburg as preparation. I think Egypt will be the favourites and we’ll be something of the underdogs but we’re proudly South African and will be giving our all in every game.”

The bulk of Team South Africa will fly out to Maputo on Tuesday with the Games scheduled to start on Saturday 3 September and continue until 18 September. At the last All Africa Games in Algiers, Algeria, South Africa ended third on the medals table.


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