News24

Sam targets 12 London medals

2011-10-27 12:20

Cape Town – SASCOC president Gideon Sam has announced a special programme for South Africa’s Olympians that will hopefully reap results in London’s Olympic Games next year.

The South African Olympic team only managed to bring home a solitary medal from the last Summer Olympiad in Beijing in 2008, with Khotso Mokoena’s silver medal in the men’s long jump competition.

However, Sam is targeting as many as 12 medals at next year and firmly believes that it is well within the South African’s capabilities.

“You start looking at the federations you are going to punt for 2012; swimming - three medals minimum. If you take the top 10 swimmers, with a coach and an assistant and put him at a university, you’ll get your three medals no doubt,” Sam told Thursday’s Cape Times.

“We said the same about athletics - just give us three medals. Already you are at six. In cycling, we said we’ll look at two, you are looking at Burry Stander (mountain biking), who has already qualified, and Sifiso Nhlapo (BMX).

“If you take boxing seriously as we are doing now, then we look at the whole country and we can go: ‘we’ve got nine or 10 men and women’. We’ve got five women who are trying to qualify.”

Women’s boxing will make its first appearance on the Olympic schedule at next year’s Games.

“We looked at judo, where we have a young athlete (Jacques van Zyl) performing very well overseas and we said to ourselves, two from boxing and judo, and we should get there. Then we said rowing, if we get one medal from rowing and one from canoeing, we have the 12,” explained Sam.

Sam went onto say that SASCOC looked into the world’s best in every Olympic sport and tried to identify which South Africans are amongst the world’s best in their respective disciplines.

He went onto explain that deals were struck with the ‘targeted’ federations to place the identified athletes or teams into a strict programme in the final eight months leading up to the London Games, which starts on July 27 next year.

This means that all identified parties will have to notify SASCOC of their status at all times such as informing them of things like their whereabouts, diets, training schedule, competition schedule, travelling schedule and whether they make use of local facilities or train overseas.

Sam also mentioned that for South Africa to be successful at the Olympics, they have to narrow the focus to the most popular, lucrative sports such as Rugby, Soccer and Cricket.

“The only sports that will be in the limelight will be football, rugby and cricket, because of the sponsorships they get. If we want to be serious, we must find out (which sport) is number four, five, etc.

“I am still confident of getting the 12 medals. I have to be. If I am not, I would have misled the country.”

Sport24

Comments
  • Dhirshan - 2011-10-27 13:08

    'The South African Olympic team only managed to bring home a solitary medal from the last Summer Olympiad in Beijing in 2008, with Khotso Mokoena’s silver medal in the men’s long jump competition.' - need i say more!

  • Phumlani - 2011-10-27 13:50

    You don't start preparing for the Olympics a year away from the bloody event!! Other countries are on 4 year programs and the more advanced are on programs that run for even longer than 4 years. How about Identifying athletes in their teens and LOOKING AFTER them!! Don't disappear for ages and then make an appearance a year before the Olympics with huge promises which don't materialise!

  • Chris - 2011-10-27 14:22

    Mr Sam - you are a money grabbing biggot - what do you know about the Olympics you twit. I have spoken to some athletes and swimmers whom you phoned only a month ago to tell them "we want a medal from you". You have provided no support, no training....nothing to these people. You are a disgrace. Take your entire family to London this time....they sure enjoyed Bejing. Don't worry, the atletes don't mind rooming 4 to a room...go and rot in hell

  • goyougoodthing - 2011-10-27 14:59

    No support, no Academies, our swimmers train in the USA. Athletics is a disgrace, hockey was ruined 10 years ago, rugby well on its way, soccer a joke, cricket a bunch of chokers. Sport in this country is a disgrace in general and now you come out with this? The only sportspeople that do well in SA are those that either play single sports such as golf, train overseas such as swimming, or play for another country!!!

  • Ross - 2011-10-27 15:53

    This is an interesting dose of reality: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/medal-tracker.htm#country-tab A predictor based on world-rankings and previous performances, predicts one silver and three gold medals to SA. Objective vs emotive...

  • H3nka - 2012-05-13 10:57

    Jacques Van Zyl put 5 years of his life into judo in an effort to qualify and represent South Africa at the London Olympics. With the extremely difficult new IJF world ranking qualification system he managed to qualify with no financial assistance from our NOC. Missing more then half the Olympic Qualification competitions due to insufficient funds, he still managed to rank at number 28 by nation in the world out of 126 countries in his weight division 73kg. SASCOC now refuse to let him go. What does this say to our new young aspiring judo players.

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