Final names announced for Team SA’s 2012 squad
Olympic governing body SASCOC on Wednesday announced the addition of a further 13 athletes to the Team South Africa squad that will carry the nation’s hopes at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The additional names bring the final number of competitors for London to 125. Extra names were announced in just two codes, those of aquatics and athletics.
Joining Team SA in London will be open water swimmers Troyden Prinsloo and Jessica Roux who swam at the qualifying event in Portugal recently as well as Darren Murray (200-metre backstroke) and Trudi Maree (50m freestyle).
In track and field Khotso Mokoena (long jump), Anaso Jobodwana (200m) and Andre Olivier (800m) are also new additions to the squad. Olivier was the final athlete to qualify, at the Africa Senior Championships in Benin at the weekend.
There was also space for decathlete Willem Coertzen who set an SA record at the SA championships in Port Elizabeth and Lehann Fourie in the 110m hurdles.
Giving South Africa another shot at a possible medal was the inclusion of a 4x400m relay squad. Among those names were Paralympic ace Oscar Pistorius who ran an A standard qualifier in the 400m and will now compete at his first Olympic Games.
Pistorius will be joined by Willem de Beer, Ofentse Mogawane and Shaun de Jager. The South African 4x400m relay team won silver at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea last year.
The initial squad of 112 athletes was announced at Olympic House in Johannesburg on 6 June 2012 and the latest names come after the completion of the final qualifying deadlines in the various sporting codes.
SASCOC President Gideon Sam congratulated the additional members of the squad: “Finally, we have a complete squad! It’s taken four long years of work but now we can concentrate on doing our best at the Games. The preparation has been done and now it’s up to our athletes to take over in London and show us what they’re made of.
“As I have said many times before, we are not taking passengers to London. Everyone has met selection criteria and are genuine Olympic Games material, either now or for 2016. I wish them all the best.”
Tubby Reddy, SASCOC CEO also expressed his happiness at the final team: “We’re confident that SASCOC together with our National Federations have put together the best team possible with the resources at our disposal. The team is an excellent blend of youth and experience with the intention of delivering medal returns in London as well as grooming our future stars for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.”
Managing and coaching additions to the squad saw Olympic silver medallist Hezekiel Sepeng named as manager for the athletics squad and he’ll be assisted by three coaches in Terseus Liebenberg, Hennie Kotze and Gerrie Coetzee.
In the swimming code, Cedric Finch also comes aboard as do Wayne Riddin and technical analyst Ryan Holdien.
Then, in a change to the General Team Management complement, the position of Chef de Mission to London will now be filled by Ms Patience Shikwambana. She replaces Malesela Maleka. Shikwambana also fulfilled this duty successfully at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.
Additional athletes to Team South Africa for the 2012 Olympics
Darren Murray, Trudi Maree, Troyden Prinsloo, Jessica Roux
Willem Coertzen, Willem de Beer, Shaun de Jager, Lehann Fourie, Anaso Jobodwana, Ofentse Mogawane, Khotso Mokoena, Andre Olivier, Oscar Pistorius