President's Voice Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

President’s Voice Gideon Sam

The 2014 Commonwealth Games preparations have been done.

The athletes have arrived in Glasgow and according to Chef de Mission, Ms Patience Shikwambana, the athletes remain in high spirits, just as they were at the departure banquet.

It is good to know that we have no moaners in the team, and that the words of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa have been taken to heart by the athletes.

Walking among them during the past two days I saw a different brand of athlete, keen to represent their country with pride. For the coaches the work has been done and each individual athlete must now take centre stage.

The media hype created by this team is huge and the country cannot wait to see the first medals getting into the bag.

We continue to expect the best from our team and with Rio not so far away, we will get an indication from performances here of how far we have gone in preparing for the Olympics of 2016.

The seniors will lead the way and the first entrants will benefit from their experience.

Athletes to look out for are obviously proven Olympians like Roland Schoeman, Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos in the swimming and there is a nice sprinkling of youth in that line-up as well, Erin Gallagher springs to mind.

In athletics we have old hands LJ van Zyl and Sunette Viljoen, both medal-winners at previous games while there are also up and coming youngsters like Akani Simbine and Wayde van Niekerk.

Those two are the big-name codes but we want our medals to come from across the spectrum, so I’m hoping that all our codes will be doing their level best to come to the party in the medal stakes.

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