Sam’s mas­ter plan

Sas­coc pres­i­dent is de­ter­mined to see SA cap­ture fifth spot at Com­mon­wealth Games

The New Age (Western Cape) - - Sport - NEVILLE KHOZA nevillek@the­newage.co.za Ajax Cape Town v Or­lando Pi­rates Su­perS­port United v AmaZulu FC

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.

PIC­TURE: GALLO IMAGES

CHAL­LENGES AHEAD: Thabo No­dada of Cape Town City says the team’s up­com­ing fix­tures will not be easy.

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