African Games: SA sends strong team to Ghana

Henry

There are high expectations of the great South African team that will participate in the 13th African Games from March 8 to 23 in Accra, Ghana.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascok) has named a group of 226 athletes and 45 officials to represent the country.

The hope is that the team can build on the 86 medals (36 gold, 26 silver and 24 bronze) that the team won in Morocco in 2019 in the 18 sports in which it will participate.

This is the eighth time that South Africa has participated in the African Games since readmission in 1995.

There are 41 athletes in the team, 36 hockey players, 29 cricketers, 26 swimmers and ten cyclists.

Other sports participated in include badminton, wrestling, table tennis, tennis and triathlon.

There are a few athletes who were in the South African team that participated in the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, such as Michaela Whitebooi (judo) and the athletes Jo-Ane van Dyk and Antonio Alkana.

The African Games often serve as a sounding board for athletes to come to the fore, as in 1995 in Harare and again in 1999 when Penny Heyns was the star of the Games.

Chad le Clos won nine medals in Maputo in 2011 and in Brazzaville in 2015 and Caster Semenya won gold in Brazzaville in 2015.

This year’s Games were initially to be held in the second half of 2023, but were postponed due to unforeseen circumstances.

Some of the most famous participants in the SA team include Alkana, Friedrich Pretorius, Victor Hogan, Jo-Ane van Dyk, Marli Viljoen and Marione Fourie (athletics), the swimmers Clayton Jimmie, Helgaard Muller and Caitlion de Lange, and the tennis players Phillip Henning , Kris van Wyk as well as Bella and Zoƫ Kruger.

Source: Saskok