South Africa announces squad for 2018 CWG
Johannesburg: The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) has announced a strong squad for the 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG) to be held in Gold Coast, Australia in April.
The squad was announced at a press conference here on Tuesday. The 2018 Commonwealth Games will take place from April 4-15, reports Xinhua news agency.
South Africa will compete in 16 sports, including athletics, badminton, bowls, boxing, cycling, wrestling, weightlifting and gymnastics.
Star sprinter Caster Semenya, who is the reigning world champion in the women's 800-metre event, is the most notable name in the squad.
The former Olympic champion is the favourite to win gold in the women's 800m and 1,500m events in Gold Coast.
SASCOC president Gideon Sam said they want to improve their performance from the last Games.
"You will see that it's a great blend of experience and raw talent and I am confident we will once again be right up there with the cream of Commonwealth countries and look to improve on our seventh place on the medals table in Glasgow four years ago. I urge every athlete to go to Australia and be the very best athlete [they] can be and fly the rainbow nation's flag high," Sam said.
The acting SASCOC CEO Patience Shikwambana expressed hope that Team South Africa will do better at the 2018 Games.
"I believe we have a strong team with established stars who have excelled exceptionally at the international arena including at the renowned events such as the Olympics, Paralympics and previous Commonwealth Games as well," Shikwambana said.
After South Africa's return to the global sports family in 1994, the country has participated six times in the Commonwealth Games.
They have finished fifth on the medals table on three occasions. That was in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in 1998, Melbourne (Australia) in 2006 and New Delhi (India) in 2010.
At the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, South Africa won 40 medals including 13 gold, 10 silver and 17 bronze.
"It is my hope that the team improves on the medals count South Africa achieved in Glasgow in 2014 so that we continue to progress in our performances and build a stronger brand on the international front," Shikwambana said.