With football action already under, the Olympics will make an official headway this weekend beginning with the opening ceremony at the iconic Maracana Stadium today. The South African team has 137 athletes who will be trying to meet the 10 medal target.
When the Rio Olympics 2016 kick off officially on Friday, August 5, South Africa will be represented by a 137-member squad, 12 more than the team sent to the London Olympics in 2012.
Among the squad, are the likes of 800m star Caster Semenya, swimming sensations Chad Le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh and cyclist Daryl Impey.
South Africa also has a new crop of athletes on whom the nation’s hopes rest. These include track and fielders Wayde van Nikerk and Anaso Jobodwana, Juan de Jongh (sevens rugby) and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (cycling).
Other codes in which the country will participate include judo, rowing, golf, and men’s and women’s football.
The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee has set a target of 10 medals for the team. The 2012 team secured six medals, three of which were gold, two silver and one bronze.
Football games got underway on Wednesday, two days before the Olympic games officially opened. In the first round robin games in the women’s tournament, Banyana Banyana took on Sweden, playing to a UPDATE HERE BEFORE PUBLICATION result.
The so-called ‘Day minus 2’ (commencement of football action two days before the official opening) is the result of the number of games that need to be played within the 16-day event. With 16 men’s and 12 women’s teams, there are 58 matches to get through.
South Africa has two football teams, the under 23s (Amaglug glug) and Banyana. Amaglug glug are in group A with Brazil, Iraq and Denmark, whereas Banyana feature in Group E with Brazil, China and Sweden.
Wits Vuvuzela; The Olympics in numbers, 27 July 2012
Wits Vuvuzela; Semenya seals the silver medal, 12 August 2012
Wits Vuvuzela; Olympic dreams for 2016, 27 July 2012