Olympics 2012

Rating SA’s Olympic chances

2012-07-25 11:36
Cameron van der Burgh (Gallo)
London – A lot has been made of SASCOC president Gideon Sam’s dream of ’12 in 12’ – 12 medals at the 2012 London Olympics.

Possible? Unlikely? A pipe dream?

Sport24 takes a closer look at who in the SA Team could bring home gold, silver or bronze…

AQUATICS:

Cameron van der Burgh

100m breaststroke, 4x100m medley relay

Van der Burgh, 24, represents SA’s brightest medal prospect and should be a shoo-in for the podium in the 100m breaststroke.

MEDAL CHANCES: A+

Chad le Clos

100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, 200m individual medley, 400m individual medley, 4x200m freestyle relay, 4x100m medley relay

Le Clos, 20, will make his Olympic debut in London, but notwithstanding that fact, he’s entered for six events in the pool. Durbanite Le Clos will look to his favoured event – the 200m butterfly – to secure a medal for SA, although he will have to content with Olympic swimming legend, Michael Phelps.

MEDAL CHANCES: A

ARCHERY:

No chance of a medal

ATHLETICS:

Khotso Mokoena

Long jump

Mokoena, SA’s only medal winner at the Beijing Games will be out to defend his silver medal from 2008 – or go one better. Mokoena has already jumped 8.29m this year – which was 5cm further than his leap in Beijing.

MEDAL CHANCES: B

Oscar Pistorius

400m, 4x400m relay

A lot has been made of Pistorius’s qualifying for the 4x400m relay – and even more fuss has surrounded his inclusion in the heats for the 400m individual race. Truth be told, Pistorius will merely be making up the numbers in the 400m, and unless he runs anything but the opening leg in the relay, he will have to wait until the Paralympics to mount the podium.

MEDAL CHANCES: C-

Caster Semenya

800m

Semenya has been something of an enigma since being crowned world champion in 2009. Injury and a startling loss of form have seen her struggle in recent times, although on her day, the 21-year-old is a medal prospect.

MEDAL CHANCES: C

Sunette Viljoen

Javelin

Viljoen, 28, won the bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships, and will be competing at her third Olympics, giving the Rustenburg athlete confidence heading into a very competitive women’s javelin field.

MEDAL CHANCES: B

BADMINTON:

No chance of a medal

BOXING:

No chance of a medal

CANOEING:

Bridgitte Hartley

K1 500m

Hartley, 29, will be looking to improve on her semi-final showing at the Beijing Games in 2008, albeit that performance coming in the K2 500m. Hartley is a previous World Cup winner and on her day is in with a medal sniff.

MEDAL CHANCES: C-

CYCLING:

Burry Stander

Mountain bike

Stander, the two-time defending Absa Cape Epic champion, finished 15th at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, but is a vastly improved rider these days.

MEDAL CHANCES: B+

Sifiso Nhlapo

BMX

Nhlapo will be hoping to make up for the disappointment at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 when he crashed out in the final. Nhlapo has suffered extensively with injuries over the past few years, but due to the unpredictability of BMX racing, ‘Skizo’ has an outside chance of medalling in London.

MEDAL CHANCES: C-

FOOTB ALL:

No chance of a medal

HOCKEY:

No chance of a medal

JUDO:

No chance of a medal

ROWING:

Matthew Brittain/Lawrence Ndlovu/John Smith/James Thompson

Lightweight coxless four

Dark horses for a medal, the SA men’s coxless fours are building momentum heading into London, although a medal will come as a shock.

MEDAL CHANCES: D

SAILING:

No chance of a medal

SHOOTING:

No chance of a medal

TRIATHLON:

Richard Murray

Men’s triathlon

Cape Town-born Murray has found form ahead of the London triathlon winning a World Cup event in the past week. Whether he will be able to replicate his form on August 7 remains to be seen.

MEDAL CHANCES: D

VOLLEYBALL (Beach)

No chance of a medal

WEIGHTLIFTING:

No chance of a medal

Doesn’t paint a pretty picture, and 12 medals – of any colour – doesn’t appear likely at all in London. A grand total of FIVE seems a more realistic return for Team SA.

Garrin is at the 2012 London Olympics courtesy of British Airways

Click HERE for fares to see the best of London and the world.


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