Team SA ex­pects medals in Italy

CityPress - - Sport - CITY PRESS COR­RE­SPON­DENT sports@city­

A large con­tin­gent of South Africa’s in­tel­lec­tu­ally im­paired ath­letes are head­ing to Italy next month to take part in the World Tri­some Games.

A to­tal of 41 Team SA ath­letes will take part in dis­ci­plines rang­ing from athletics, fut­sal, swimming and ta­ble ten­nis to ten­nis and gymnastics.

Th­ese games – the first of their kind – are ex­clu­sively ded­i­cated to ath­letes with Down’s syn­drome.

SA Sports As­so­ci­a­tion for the In­tel­lec­tu­ally Im­paired pres­i­dent Lizzie Vo­gel said 32 coun­tries have shown in­ter­est in tak­ing part in the games, which will be held in Florence, Italy, from July 15 to 22.

SA hosted the first ta­ble ten­nis and third athletics world cham­pi­onships for peo­ple with Down’s syn­drome in Bloem­fontein last year, and Team SA came first in the athletics com­pe­ti­tion and sec­ond in the ta­ble ten­nis com­pe­ti­tion.

Star ath­letes were Me­lanie Barnard, Leonard Bai­ley and Hannes-Walt de Klerk, win­ning gold medals and set­ting world record times in their dis­ci­plines. Vo­gel is con­fi­dent of Team SA’s medal chances. “We got po­si­tion one in the last world cham­pi­onships and we know the ath­letes can do it again. We also ex­pect a good medal tally be­cause all our ath­letes are train­ing hard. We know they will make us proud,” she said.

The team leaves for Italy on July 14. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Leonard Hannes-Walt Jan­sie Tebogo Charles Pu­leng Koos Vukosi Brey­ton Le­bo­hang Manuel Jaco Me­lanie Mar­itza Juliet Ren­tia Sara Cor­nell Bai­ley De Klerk Els Mabitsi Mailula Makho­fane Mat­saung Rikhotso Mokae Mo­gale Ra­pogo Jor­daan Barnard Holdt Mailula Oosthuizen Rak­galakane Rey­necke WC NW NW LP LP LP LP LP NC LP GP NW NW WC LP EC MP NW 46 47 48 Pi­etie Sean Hyl­ton

PROUDLY SA From left: Coach Nor­bet Mas­ese, Moega­mat Chris­tians, Se­laelo Rapholo and Le­bo­hang Mo­gale will rep­re­sent South Africa at the Tri­some Games in Italy next month

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