Year in review: Banyana turn the tide as athletes break records

2011-12-23 13:46

Banyana Banyana reached their maiden Olympic Games and with this feat, they became the second football national team to do so.

Why it matters:
The only time South Africa was represented in football at the Olympics was 11 years ago when Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba guided his under-23 charges to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Banyana’s qualification is therefore a turning point for women’s football.

» The past year saw South African athletes – track and field – win four medals at the IAAF World Champions in Daegu, South Korea.

The achievement was a culmination of a year in which 10 new domestic records were set, including the 4x400m relay team clocking 2:59.21 to end a 12-year-old record of 3:00.20 set in 1999.

Oscar Pistorius – first Paralympian to compete with the able-bodied athletes in world champs history – was part of the relay quartet that broke the three-minute barrier.

Why it matters:
It is the first fruits of a more stable athletics administration and it shows that when the athletes get the attention they deserve, they do perform.

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