8 Potential South African Medallists To Look Out For At The Olympics

8 Potential South African Medallists To Look Out For At The Olympics

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The 2016 Rio Olympics are fast approaching, and potential South African medallists are amongst the elite athletes hoping to make the most of their sporting talents and hard work in Brazil.

The top sportsmen and women from around the globe will descend on Brazil in an effort to represent their countries and earn medals.

Team SA is no different, and they have a number of top athletes, swimmers and other sports personalities capable of winning medals in August.

With this in mind, we take a closer look at 8 potential medallists that will represent South Africa at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Source: IndependentOnline, TheDailyVox, TimesLive, TheCitizenTimes, InsideTheGames.

2016 African Championships - Wayde Van Niekerk
Wayde Van Niekerk is a likely medalist – zeenews.india.com

Wayde Van Niekerk

The current 400m record holder has been in incredible form ahead of the Olympics, and he will surely be leading the line for South Africa as far as medals are concerned. The 400m men’s race is effectively his to lose.

Swimmer Chad Le Clos
Swimmer Chad Le Clos is aiming for gold – timeslive.co.za

Chad Le Clos

The golden boy of South African swimming, Le Clos is expecting to return home from the 2016 Olympics with a medal or two in tow. The butterfly expert is looking to win medals in his speciality at the games, with the 200m, 100m and 50m events likely to see him amongst the medals.

South African Medalists - South African swimmer Cameron van der Burgh
SA swimmer Cameron van der Burgh won gold in 2012 – thomsonreuters.com

Cameron Van Der Burgh

Van der Burgh will be expected to feature amongst the South African swimming medallists in Rio, with his speciality breaststroke likely to see him competing for medals in one or two swimming events. He achieved gold at London 2012 in the 100m breaststroke, and he will want to repeat that feat in 2016.

Caster Semenya, South African 800m runner (Photo: thedailybeast.com)
Caster Semenya, South African 800m runner (Photo: thedailybeast.com)

Caster Semenya

The 800m silver medal winner at London 2012 will be aiming to go one better in Rio, earning herself the gold medal in her two-lap event. She is expected to be on the podium at the very least, and could attempt to qualify for the 1,500m event ahead of the competition.

SA long distance runner Dominique Scott
SA long distance runner Dominique Scott – back-track.co.za

Dominique Scott

The 23-year-old South African long distance athlete will likely be a contender for the 5,000m and 10,000m events at Rio 2016. She recently won races in the US with a 10,000m time of 32:35.69, and a 5,000m time of 15:57.07.

Sunette Viljoen
Sunette Viljoen is a javelin champion – timeslive.co.za

Sunette Viljoen

The South African javelin champion came fourth at the 2012 Olympics in London, and she will be looking to go one better in Rio to earn a medal in her chosen event. The 32-year-old javelin star is capable of greatness, and will be aiming to add a medal to her gold medals in the Commonwealth Games and African Championships.

SA kayaker Bridgitte Hartley
SA canoer Bridgitte Hartley is a gold medal hopeful – sascoc.co.za

Bridgitte Hartley

The South African canoeing sensation is expected to be amongst the potential medallists for the country in Rio. Hartley is aiming for gold in the women’s 500m sprint canoeing event, having won the bronze in the same event four years back at London 2012.

Seabelo Senatla - South Africa Rugby Sevens
South Africa Rugby Sevens are in with a medal shout – rugby365.com

Rugby Sevens Team

Rugby sevens is included in the Olympics for the first time this year, and the South African Blitzboks will certainly be amongst the favourites to fight for a place on the podium, allowing them to be in contention for a medal.