Sam’s master plan
Sascoc president is determined to see SA capture fifth spot at Commonwealth Games
SOUTH African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) president Gideon Sam is targeting fifth place in the standings at the Commonwealth Games Gold Coast in Australia in April. Sam wants to see the country surpass their seventh place in Scotland four years ago where they won 40 medals which included 13 golds, 10 silver and 17 bronze. This after the association announced a strong national squad that Sam believes are capable of achieving the target and finish ahead of India and Scotland, who were ahead of them four years ago. “The most important thing is for us to get to position number five,” Sam said. “And for SA to get to that position, it has to get gold medals and our approach this time around is we have to get above Scotland and India.
“That’s why swimming, athletics and lawn bowls must lay the foundation for the other disciplines.
“You (the athletes) may pick up a few in gymnastics and so on and maybe in wrestling. You can see some of the boys here are pumped up. Hopefully, they will do it and I know when they are pumped up like that they will definitely be doing things correctly.
“Our approach this time is not so much on medals, we need to improve our standings in the middle table because that is going to give us more slots in Birmingham in 2022.”
In the past years during international competitions, South Africa earned their golds medals in athletics and swimming and will put their hopes on these disciplines again this year.
Caster Semenya, Cameron van der Burgh, Chad le Clos, Luvo Manyonga and Akani Simbine are among the favourites to bring home gold medals.
Sam said the reason he wants to go above India and Scotland is that they also have sporting codes which they rely on for gold medals.
“When you think about it, they go to the Commonwealth Games, even the Olympics, and they have specific areas in which they perform well and they get gold medals.
“When you get gold medals you go up (the standings).
“That’s why we need to match them. If we can do that in lawn bowls, let’s say they get four golds in shooting, we should get four golds in lawn bowls.
“That’s how you work it out, so every federation must understand that we are gunning for gold.
“The Australians will be coming in with guns blazing. You can already put them up at No 1 so four spots are left. We must fight (the other main contenders) England, Canada, India and Scotland.”
The Sascoc president also said that the recent scandal regarding the dismissal of chief executive Tubby Reddy hadn’t affected their plans for the Commonwealth Games.
CHALLENGES AHEAD: Thabo Nodada of Cape Town City says the team’s upcoming fixtures will not be easy.