The hype around South Africa’s Olympic-bound athletes is at an ultimate high as our representatives are aiming to proudly fly the South African flag at the prestigious Games in Tokyo.
Athletes are currently preparing for departure and have shared their aspirations as they set to compete on the international stage.
Gymnastics duo, Caitlin Rooskrantz and Naveen Daries, who are the first ever South African Women’s Artistic Gymnasts to have qualified for the Games, are looking forward to making a positive impact at the event.
“The final prep comp done and dusted before we leave on Thursday!” shared Rooskrantz on Instagram.
“It was an incredibly proud moment for me today. I had a little mistake on beam but everything else was so good!
“I picked up a minor ankle injury a few weeks ago at the African Championships which was not ideal considering we were so close to the Games. The last few weeks have been so tough with recovering and getting back to competition, but I DID IT!
I am so thankful it was just a minor injury, and for all the aggressive support I got over the past few weeks – I would’ve never made it alone.
“Just a few more days before we are off to Japan!!”
Daries echoed her team-mate and best-friend, expressing her delight to gsport: “For the Olympics being such a prestigious event and my first at such a young age, my ultimate goal would be to go into the competition looking and feeling my best mentally and physically.
“I would love to get through a clean competition, without any falls or major mistakes and to feel as though I am at my prime,” she added.
“It is such a huge achievement to yet alone just qualify for the Olympics and the feeling is so surreal. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to represent my country, as well as the opportunity to gain as much experience as I can from these Games, so that it will only help me in the years to come.”
Debutant, Jo-Ané van Dyk, who recently received praise from injured 2016 Olympic silver medalist, Sunette Viljoen, aspires to enjoy every moment of the competition.
“My aspirations for Tokyo will be to qualify for the final and finish in the Top 10. Furthermore, it will be just to enjoy the Games, enjoy the moment and make the most of this experience.”
Skateboard sensation, Boipelo Awuah, will be one of the youngest competitors in Tokyo as the sport makes its debut.
“My goals for Tokyo is to go out there and perform to the best of my ability. I just want to go out there and make a name for myself in the skateboarding world.
“I am just super stoked to be a part of all of this.”
The South African Women’s Water Polo team head coach, Delaine Mentoor, is looking forward to displaying her team globally.
“I am looking forward to seeing the hard work our players have put in given their circumstances, play into fruition at the Games. I am looking forward to seeing our team grow and get better with each game.
“I would like to see a certain level of confidence in their individual play as I know the hard work each of them have put in, that is one thing no one can take away from our ladies and that is the grit and determination I am hoping the rest of the world will see.”
Photo 1 Caption: Gymnastics duo, Caitlin Rooskrantz and Naveen Daries, who are the first ever South African Women’s Artistic Gymnasts to have qualified for the Games, are looking forward to making a positive impact at the event. Photo: Caitlin Rooskrantz (Instagram)