To be selected to represent your country at the Olympic Games is one of the grandest athletic achievements possible. Years of training, sacrifice, and dedication are required for athletes hoping to join the select group of competitors who will forever be known as ‘Olympians’. While the COVID-19 pandemic raised many challenges in terms of Tokyo 2020/1 preparation, the determination and focus of the athletes have remained unwavering in the quest to qualify for Olympic selection. SASCOC and CyclingSA are proud to announce the SA National Team to represent South Africa at the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. The road team includes Daryl Impey, Ryan Gibbons, Nic Dlamini, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and Carla Oberholzer. Candice Lill and Alan Hatherly will be flying our flag at the XCO event with Alex Limberg representing on the BMX track. On the Track, we’ll have Jean Spies, David Maree and Charlene du Preez. The first event takes place on Saturday the 24th of July, at 4am local time.
CyclingSA recognises that there have been shortfalls in the past regarding the development of riders. Great emphasis has been placed on addressing these issues, and this is central to the 2020-2024 Strategic Plan to develop the sport further. Several initiatives have been put in place to identify, develop and support up-and-coming talent. This includes working with CyclingSA’s regional affiliates, provinces and disciplines to increase competition in local racing platforms to create a long list of development riders who are to be nurtured and supported. In addition, funding generated from the various capacity-building projects and commercial agreements will be ring-fenced to subsidise larger and more diverse teams selected to participate in International events. CyclingSA is confident that the structures being put in place will allow for greater diversity of cycling as a whole and is committed to ensuring cycling is better represented for the next Olympic Games in Paris 2024.
“SASCOC and CyclingSA are aware that Daryl Impey has recently had surgery following a crash at the Ruta del Sol in Spain a few days ago. The SASCOC medical team are in contact with Daryl’s medical team and will advise if he will not be fit to participate in Tokyo. The reserve rider has been notified, and should Daryl not be fit to participate, the reserve rider will be announced.”
“All the riders on the long-list for Team SA have continued to deliver results despite the setbacks and disruption for the Tokyo Olympic Games. We are extremely proud of the riders who have been selected to represent South Africa and wish the team all the success in reaching their Olympic dreams.” said Ciska Austin, President of CyclingSA.
| IMAGE: Chris Hitchcock |