SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

South Africa: Pistorius Included in Olympic Team SA

Photo: oscarpistorius.com
Oscar Pistorius.

A further 13 athletes were added to Team South Africa on Wednesday, bringing to 125 the total number of athletes in the team to do duty at the London Olympic Games. The additions included Paralympic star Oscar Pistorius.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) announced the names of the 13 athletes, all of whom come from either aquatics or athletics, at Olympic House in Johannesburg.

Open water swimmers Troyden Prinsloo and Jessica Roux recently booked their places after swimming in an Olympic qualifying event in Portugal. They were named along with pool swimmers' Darren Murray (200-metre backstroke) and Trudi Maree (50m freestyle).

Olympic medal winner

In track and field, long jumper Khotso Mokoena, the only South African to win a medal four years ago at the Beijing Olympics, was named along with 200m sprinter Anaso Jobodwana and 800m runner Andre Olivier, who was the final athlete to qualify at the Africa Senior Championships in Benin at the weekend.

There was also space for decathlete Willem Coertzen who set a South African record at the South African Championships in Port Elizabeth in April, and Lehann Fourie in the 110m hurdles.

Giving South Africa another shot at a possible medal was the inclusion of a 4x400m relay squad. Among those named were Paralympic ace Oscar Pistorius, who ran an A standard qualifier in the 400m and will now compete at his first Olympic Games.

World Championships silver

Pistorius will be joined by Willem de Beer, Ofentse Mogawane and Shaun de Jager. The South African 4x400m relay team won silver at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, last year.

The initial squad of 112 athletes was announced at Olympic House in Johannesburg on 6 June and the latest names come after the completion of the final qualifying deadlines in the various sporting codes.

Sascoc President Gideon Sam congratulated the additional members of the squad, saying: "Finally, we have a complete squad! It's taken four long years of work, but now we can concentrate on doing our best at the Games. The preparation has been done and now it's up to our athletes to take over in London and show us what they're made of.

'Genuine Olympic Games material'

"As I have said many times before, we are not taking passengers to London. Everyone has met selection criteria and [they] are genuine Olympic Games material, either now or for 2016. I wish them all the best."

Tubby Reddy, the CEO of Sascoc, commented: "We're confident that Sascoc, together with our national federations, have put together the best team possible with the resources at our disposal.

"The team is an excellent blend of youth and experience with the intention of delivering medal returns in London, as well as grooming our future stars for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil."

Managing and coaching additions to the squad saw Olympic silver medallist Hezekiel Sepeng named as manager of the athletics squad. He'll be assisted by Terseus Liebenberg, Hennie Kotze and Gerrie Coetzee.

In the swimming code, Cedric Finch also comes aboard, as does Sydney Olympic coach Wayne Riddin and technical analyst Ryan Holdien.

In a change to the General Team Management complement, the position of Chef de Mission to London will now be filled by Patience Shikwambana, who replaces Malesela Maleka.

ATHLETES ADDED

Aquatics: Darren Murray, Trudi Maree, Troyden Prinsloo, Jessica Roux

Athletics: Willem Coertzen, Willem de Beer, Shaun de Jager, Lehann Fourie, Anaso Jobodwana, Ofentse Mogawane, Khotso Mokoena, Andre Olivier, Oscar Pistorius

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