More SA athletes for Beijing Olympics

2008-07-10 00:00

WITH less than a month before the opening of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Sascoc have made the third of their ongoing team announcements, adding another 37 athletes to Team South Africa.

The announcement of 16 athletes included 800 metre runner Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, who brought home a silver medal from the Athens Olympics and who appears to be building towards a peak during his current European campaign.

Arguably, South Africa’s best track and field hope lies with the 400 metre hurdling trio of Ter de Villiers, Alwyn Myburg and LJ van Zyl. Although not yet showing his best form, Van Zyl would, going on past performances, be a medal contender, while all three are capable of getting through to at least semi-final level.

In the field events Khotso Mokoena certainly has medal contention in the long jump, while the youthful javelin-throwing Robert Oosthuizen will be hoping to build on his surprise entrance to top-class competition in last year’s World Championships in Osaka. Elizna Naudé is capable of spinning the discus over 66 metres, which should take her into the finals and on the right day could put her on a podium step.

Disappointingly only two road runners qualified for the men’s marathon scheduled for the final day of competition.

Hendrick Ramaala, who was runner-up in last weekend’s Nedbank SA Half-Marathon Championship in Motherwell, Eastern Cape, and Norman Dlomo will take on the hot, humid and polluted Beijing conditions. Ramaala, who shortly leaves for final hot weather conditioning in Albuquerque in the United States, is a realistic medal contender if he can conquer the environmental challenges.

With still a few days remaining for qualification a number of other athletes will be hoping to add their names to the team and possibly the relay team through performances in the remaining European events.

Sebastien Rousseau and Jan Venter are the latest additions to the large aquatics squad, where they will be competing in the 200 metre freestyle relay, while Athens Olympic rower Ramon di Clemente partners Shaun Keeling in the heavyweight coxless pairs.

Thanks to lottery support the country’s leading triathletes have had the opportunity of more frequent competition in World Cup events and this, plus the continental qualification route, has resulted in Mari Rabie, Kate Roberts and Hendrick de Villiers being named for the 1,5-kilometre swim, 40-kilometre cycle and 10-kilometre run event.

The full team:

Aquatics: Sebastien Rousseau 4 x 200 m free relay, Jan Albert Venter 4 x 200 m free relay.

Athletics: Pieter de Villiers 400 m hurdles, Alwyn Myburg 400 m hurdles, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi 800 m, Samson Ngoepe 800 m, Ruben Ramolefi 3 000 m sc, Khotso Mokoena long jump, Robert Oosthuizen javelin, Thuso Mpuang 200 m, L. J. van Zyl 400 m hurdles, Roux 200 m, Tsholofelo Thipe 400 m, Elizna Naude discus, Rene Kalmer 1 500 m. Kakata Maponyane manager; Ekkart Arbeit head coach, Wilfred Daniels coach, Magda Botha coach, Johann Paul van der Merwe coach.

Cycling: Marissa van der Merwe road, Cherise Taylor road, Sifiso Nhlapo Bmx. Herve Krebs Bmx coach.

Rowing: Rika Geyser heavyweight women’s single scull, Kirsten McCann lightweight women’s double scull, Alex White lightweight women’s double scull, Ramon di Clemente heavyweight men’s coxless pairoar, Shaun Keeling heavyweight men’s coxless pairoar, Karabo Mothulwe manager. Roger Barrow coach.

Tennis: Kevin Anderson singles, Jeff Coetzee doubles, Wesley Moodie doubles. John Laffnie de Jager manager/ coach.

Triathlon: Mari Rabie, Kate Roberts. Hendrik de Villiers. Carol Austin manager/coach.

Beach Volleyball: Vitalina Nel, Judith Augoustides, Casey Augoustides, Partick Flisberg. Daniel van Brussel manager; Ahmid el Wassimy coach.

Weightlifting: Darryn Anthony 77 kg. Aveenash Pandoo manager/coach.

Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, 800 metre runner who brought home a silver medal from the Athens Olympics, has been included in Team South Africa.

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