No Wayde, Caster yet in SA Olympic squad, hockey men and women are off to Tokyo

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Akani Simbine, Clarence Munyaim Thando Dlodlo and Gift Leotlela for South Africa (Getty Images)
Akani Simbine, Clarence Munyaim Thando Dlodlo and Gift Leotlela for South Africa (Getty Images)
Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) on Thursday announced the first names of Team South Africa to participate at the Tokyo Olympics in Japan.

Sascoc revealed an initial squad of 64 athletes in a virtual press conference, after the completion of qualifying deadlines in some of the different sporting disciplines.

South Africa is looking to compete in 23 of the 33 Olympic sports on offer, with many having the opportunity to qualify and additional team announcements will be made in due course.

2016 gold medallist Wayde van Niekerk and Caster Semenya were the notable omissions from the first Tokyo squad, which did also not include the aquatics squad.

Semenya was barred from competing in her favourite 800m event due to World Athletics regulations on testosterone levels with the two-time Olympic gold medallist understood to be hoping to qualify in the 5 000m at the Tokyo Olympics.

Van Niekerk, who is currently in the United States, has yet to qualify for the Olympics, which is scheduled from 23 July to 8 August, in either the 200m or 400m events. 

SA Hockey will have two teams - men and women - at this year's Olympics after missing out of the Rio Olympics in 2016 , despite qualifying for the Games that year.

Sascoc president Barry Hendricks congratulated the first members to be selected in Team South Africa.

"After all the challenges the world at large faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic which resulted in the postponement of the Olympics, it's a very exciting time for us as an Olympic Committee and it feels incredible to be announcing our first names of Team South Africa."

An update to South Africa's Olympic team is expected on 4 July.

Team SA have already started to roll out vaccines to the full Team SA delegation that have been accredited for the Tokyo Games.

South Africa will send an advanced team on 10 July to ensure that all is put in place before the first group of athletes arrive on 13 July.

At the last Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Team SA brought back home 10 medals, which was an increase on the six medals that were won at London 2012.

The first SA Olympic team announcement:

Athletics

Akani Simbine, Clarence Munyai, Antonio Alkana, Cheswill Johnson, Ruswahl Samaai, Rocco Van Rooyen, Jason Van Rooyen, Stephen Mokoka, Desmond Mokgobu, Elroy Gelant, Wayne Snyman, men's 4x100m relay and men's 4x400m relay (The athletes are still to be determined by Athletics South Africa), Wenda Nel, Dominique Scott, Gerda Steyn and Irvette Van Zyl.

Climbing

Erin Sterkenburg and Chris Cosser

Coach/Manager James Barnes

Cycling

Johan Spies, Charlene Du Preez, David Maree, Daryl Impey, Ryan Gibbons, Nicholas Dlamini, Ashleigh Pasio-Moolman, Carla Oberholzer, Alan Hatherly, Candice Lill and Alex Limberg.

Team Officials: Elton Davids (Team Manager and BMX Coach) Ian Goetham (Road Coach) Moosa Classen (Track Mechanic) Jean-Pierre Jacobs (Mountain Bike Manager Coach and Mechanic) Carl Pasio (Road Coach) Brigette Mileson (Track Coach Manager) Gary Blem (Road Mechanic)

Gymnastics

Caitlin Rooskrantz

Coach Ilse Laing (Roets)

Women's field hockey

Quanita Bobbs, Erin Christie, Lisa Deetlefs, Lilian Du Plessis, Nicole Erasmus, Tarryn Glasby, Robyn Johnson, Charne Maddocks, Lerato Mahole, Phumelela Mbande, Edith Molikoe, Kristen Paton, Tarryn Potts, Celia Seerane, Nomnikelo Veto and Onthatile Zulu.

Coaches and Management Gillian Doig (Manager), Robin Van Ginkel (Head Coach), Nkuliso Zondi (Assistant Coach) and Taren Naidoo (Video Analyst.)

Men's field hockey

Erasmus Pieterse, Timothy Drummond, Austin Smith, Mohamed Mea, Matthew GuiseBrown, Jethro Eustice, Nduduzo Lembethe, Taine Paton, Nicholas Spooner, Clinton Panther, Samkelo Mvimbi, Abdul Cassiem, Mustapha Cassiem, Nqobile Ntuli, Keenan Horne and Tevin Kok.

Coaches and Management: Martin Van Staden (Manager), Garreth Ewing (Head Coach), Siphesihle Ntuli (Assistant Coach) and Ashlin Freddy.

Sailing

Alex Burger and Benjamin Daniel

Coach/ Manager: Asenathi Jim

Surfing

Bianca Buitendag

Coach: Gregory Emslie

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