Cape Town - Sports minister Thulas Nxesi has lauded the South African athletics team after their stellar performances at the IAAF World Championships in London.
The SA squad earned the nation's best ever medal haul at a world championships, finishing third and scooping a total of six podium places.
"Congratulations are all in order to the entire team including Caster Semenya as she continued to carry out flag high in adding to our gold tally in the women's 800m final and the bronze in the women's 1 500m final - serving as a great ambassador to our women athletes," said a statement issued by Nxesi.
"Both her achievements couldn't have come at a better time as we continue with our Women's Month celebration.
"I also take the opportunity to further congratulate the following athletes for flying our flag high and for ensuring we ended up third in the medal standings. Our golden boy Wayde van Niekerk for pocketing both 400m gold and 200m silver, Luvo Manyonga for collecting gold and Ruswahl Samaai for his bronze," said Nxesi.
"I know this country is waiting in anticipation for the return of all our athletes so that they can be afforded the hero's welcome they deserve. Unfortunately due to their hectic calendar it won't be anytime soon as they still need to take part in the Diamond League.
"Lastly but not the least, congratulations to the entire Athletics South Africa team including those that didn't secure a medal. I urge them to go back and once more work extra hard.
"As for those who will be attending the Diamond League, they must go out there and represent the country well and we will be waiting in anticipation," concluded Nxesi.
The next IAAF Diamond League meeting takes place in Birmingham on Sunday, August 20.