SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

21 June 2012

South Africa: Paralympic Team Named

Photo: GCIS
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula greets Sandra Khumalo, one of Team SA's Paralympic athletes at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) on Wednesday announced a 62-member team to contest the Paralympics in London from 29 August to 9 September.

The team has a high standard to live up to after South Africa finished sixth on the medals table in the 2008 Paralympics.

That team produced some of the biggest stars of the Beijing Paralympics, including Natalie du Toit, Oscar Pistorius and Ernst van Dyk.

Du Toit won five gold medals four years ago, Pistorius three and Van Dyk one gold and a bronze.

Laureus Sports Awards winners

They have all won the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Van Dyk in 2006, Du Toit in 2010, and Pretorius in 2012. And they will all be a part of the 2012 line-up.

Hilton Langenhoven, a winner of three gold medals in Beijing, including in the men's pentathlon P12, will be another big star to watch out for.

The London team is slightly smaller, by just four people, than that which competed in Beijing.

Shireen Sapiro, Hilton Langenhoven, Charl Bouwer, Philippa Johnson, Kevin Paul, Fanie van der Merwe, and Ilse Hayes will all be defending titles in London. The only gold medal-winning member of the Beijing team not in London will be Fanie Lombard, who gold in the men's discus throw, F42 category.

Sporting codes

Seven different sporting codes are represented in the squad, including athletics, cycling, equestrian, rowing, swimming, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis.

Athletics, with 25, has the greatest representation. There are 12 players in the basketball squad and 10 swimmers. Cycling features six competitors.

Sascoc CEO Tubby Reddy said: "Although qualifying standards are high, our Paralympians have a global reputation for excellence and I know they will once again do us proud. They've fought long and hard to get into this team and we shall see the rewards at these Paralympics."

Sascoc President Sam Ramsamy lauded the past efforts of South African Paralympic teams, saying: "In the past we have sometimes come in for criticism about the performance of our Olympic teams, but when it comes to Paralympic teams our men and women have done us proud time and time again.

"Let me remind you that the first South Africans to represent their country at the Paralympics numbered just nine, way back at the 1964 Tokyo Paralympics and they set the benchmark by bringing back eight gold medals.

Glory

"Down the years our para-athletes have continued to bring glory to the country. At the last Paralympics in Beijing we sent a team of 66 and between them they brought back 30 medals, 21 of which were gold.

"This is the high standard of excellence that we have come to expect from our Paralympians."

The CEO of Brand South Africa Miller Matola wished the Paralympic team well. "Their inclusion in the team is a testament of their excellences on the sporting field," he said.

"We wish you luck, knowing very well that good luck is the result of hard work and preparation. Do us proud and continue flying our country's flag high."

PARALYMPIC TEAM SOUTH AFRICA

Athletics

Tshepo Bhebe, Dyan Buis, Andrea Dalle Ave, Pieter du Preez, Charl du Toit, Arnu Fourie, Ilse Hayes, Hilton Langenhoven, Anrune Liebenberg, Michael Louwrens, Teboho Mokgalagadi, Jan Nehro (guide: Duane Fortuin), Zandile Nhlapo, Jonathan Ntutu, Oscar Pistorius, Anika Pretorius, Samkelo Radebe, Casper Schutte, Union Sekailwe, Zanele Situ, Zivan Smith, Marius Stander, Duane Strydom, Fanie van der Merwe, Chenelle van Zyl

Manager: Dion Bishop

Coaches: Suzanne Ferreira, Zelda Hansen, Hennie Koekemoer, Karin le Roux, Ampie Louw

Team Assistant: Neels Matthyser. Helper: Illse du Preez

Cycling

Roxy Burns, Madre Carinus, Stuart McCreadie, Jaco Nel, Ernst van Dyk, Gerhard Viljoen

Manager: Mike Burns

Coach: Ricky Kulsen

Mechanic: Pieter Jansen

Equestrian

Anthony Dawson, Philipa Johnson, Marion Milne, Wendy Moller

Manager: Tracey Cumming

Coach: Chris Haazen

Vet: Sheelagh Higgerty

Grooms: Enoch Cele, Anton Chimbuanda, Elizabeth Newsome, Teri Smith

Rowing

Sandra Khumalo

Manager/coach: Marco Galeone

Swimming

Renette Bloem, Charl Bouwer, Natalie du Toit, Emily Gray, Achmat Hassiem, Hendri Herbst, Marike Naude, Kevin Paul, Shireen Sapiro, Tadhg Slattery

Manager: Queeneth Ndlovu

Coach: Karoly Toros

Coach/Tapper: Karin Hugo

Tapper/Helper: Eeden Meyer

Wheelchair basketball

Justin Govender, Siphamandla Gumbi, Stuart Jellows, Kyle Louw, Luvuyo Mbande, Gift Mooketsi, Richard Nortje, Kobus Oeschger, Marius Papenfus, Marcus Retief, Jaco Velloen

Manager: Willie Riechert

Coach: Patrick Fick

Assistant coach: Shadrack Moepeng

Technical coach: Franck Belen

Wheelchair Tennis

Evans Maripa, Sydwell Mathonsi, Kgothatso Montjane, Lucas Sithole

Manager/coach: Holger Losch

Assistant coach: Khotso Matshego

General Team Management

Chef de Mission: Pieter Badenhorst

Project manager: Vinesh Maharaj

Manager (logistics): Clifford Cobers

Logistics: Madira Sehlapelo

Manager (athletes services): Chantelle Jardim

Athlete services: Dumisani Mtwa

Chief medical officer: Wayne Derman

Chief physiotherapist: Grace Hughes

Doctor: Paul Maphoto

Physiotherapists: Given Baloyi, Edwin Bodha, Greshne Davids, Shantal Edwards, Dan Ntseke, Evah Ramashala

Classifier: Tarina van der Stockt

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InFocus

South African Paralympian Goes for Gold

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula greets Sandra Khumalo, one of Team SA's Paralympic athletes at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

Sandra Khumalo who won silver at the 2012 Final Paralympic Qualification Rowing Regatta in Belgrade, Serbia, earlier this year has her sights set on another medal. Read more »