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2020 Summer Olympic Games
July 23 - August 8, 2021
South Africa will make their eighth consecutive appearance at the Olympic Games in the post-apartheid era and the twentieth overall in Summer Olympic history.
We take a closer look at some of South Africa’s leading medal contenders:
Tatjana Schoenmaker (swimming)
The 24-year-old gained international attention at the 2018 Commonwealth Games where she won gold medals in women's 100 metre breaststroke and the women's 200 metre breaststroke.
Schoenmaker is widely considered to be the world's fastest female 200m breaststroke swimmer and she recently made headlines at the 2021 South African National Aquatic Champs in Port Elizabeth.
She set a new African record winning in 2:20.17 and she also staged a new African and South African record time of 30.32 in the women's 50m breaststroke final.
Wayde van Niekerk (Athletics)
The Kraaifontein-born athlete remains one of the best sprinters in the world having won gold in the men's 400 meters at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil with a world record time of 43.03 seconds.
Van Niekerk achieved the 400m qualifying standard for the Tokyo Olympics at a meeting in Madrid, Spain last month as he finished in a time of 44.56, inside the required standard of 44.90.
The two-time world champion has overcome his injuries woes which have troubled him in the last few years and he is the favourite to win the men's 400 meters race in Tokyo.
“I ran inside the qualifying standard for Tokyo (44.90), so mission accomplished,” Van Niekerk told the World Athletics website.
“I’m training well, so I knew what I was capable of. 44.56 in my first 400m race in a long time is okay, but I hope to improve in my following competitions."
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Blitzboks (rugby sevens)
South Africa's sevens rugby team is set to make its second appearance in the global tournament having scooped bronze at the 2016 Olympic Games and they will be determined to reach the final in Tokyo.
In the last eight seasons of the World Rugby Sevens Series
, the Blitzboks have finished either first or second in seven campaigns - making them one of the best sevens rugby teams in the world.
The team is made up of superstars such as Seabelo Senatla, Rosko Specman and Cheslin Kolbe and they have been tipped to make a breakthrough as South African rugby’s first Olympic medal.
Chad le Clos (swimming)
The 29-year-old is coming into the Tokyo Olympic Games as one of South Africa's most decorated athletes in the competition having won a gold medal and four silver medals.
Le Clos won gold in the 200-metre butterfly and silver in the 100-metre butterfly in the 2012 Olympics in London, as well as silver medals in the 200-metre freestyle and 100-metre butterfly in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
The experienced swimmer, who is the first man to win three consecutive 200m butterfly Commonwealth titles, and Schoenmaker are expected to lead South Africa's aquatic team in Tokyo.
South Africa's performance at 2016 Olympic Games
Gold Medals: 2
Silver Medals: 6
Bronze Medals: 2
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