South Africa’s efforts at the Tokyo Olympics calls for concern after the team only bagged three medals at the Games. Swimmer Tatjana Schoeman claimed two medals, gold and silver, while surfer Bianca Buitendag secured a silver medal.
Since then, South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee president, Barry Hendricks said that the organisation will do broad introspection regarding the “medal count” which has “dropped markedly” since “London and Rio,” as IOL reports.
Here Hendricks was referring to 2012 when South African won a total of six medals in London and 10 medals in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
“This reminds me of the return from Beijing (2008) and the actions and steps we took in our reflections thereafter. One of the key things that came out of that, was a drastic increase in the funding of athletes’ support,” Hendricks said.
The Sascoc president went on cite the effects of the pandemic, and according to IOL, he further mentioned that “We must take into account the role of the lockdowns too. When we were at the height of the pandemic, Europe was starting to open up; athletes over there could train and compete and our athletes were training one week and then the facilities were closed because of lockdown.”
Meanwhile, Hendricks explained the “miscommunication” that took place, following the news that Schoenmaker and Buitendag won’t receive medal incentive bonuses.
According to News24, this is what Hendricks said regarding the matter: “We need to explain the miscommunication that occurred… The story going was that Sascoc does not support the athletes. The message that was supposed to come across was, Sascoc doesn’t provide the funds.
“Sascoc has always gone out to its partners to seek those funds. Yes, the athletes will be receiving incentives for their performances.
“That should have been the clear message to come out, and we felt that we needed to correct that.”
Picture: Twitter / Team SA