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Rafa

South Africans Slam Horror Olympic Performance

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Rafa    43

Media slam South Africa's Olympic performance

Cape Town, South Africa - South Africa's dismal performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics has cast a pall over this country's media coverage of the spectacle. And there were calls from across the media spectrum for the country to overcome the problems that led to Team South Africa's worst performance at the Olympics since readmission after apartheid.

The 134-strong team - the largest South Africa has sent to any Olympic Games, pre-and post-isolation - has only a silver medal to show for its efforts, courtesy of long jumper Kgotso Mokoena.

Most newspapers complained that South Africa does not have a properly structured sports development programme which is able to produce a pool of quality athlete scapable of competing in international competitions.

The Citizen said the truth of the matter is that the country's men and women have been outplayed in Beijing.

"As disappointing as it may be we need to acknowledge that the days of Penny Heyns, Roland Schoeman, Ryk Neethling, Darian Townsend and Lyndon Ferns may have come and gone. Our so-called big name athletes have so far been little fish in a big pond, although Natalie du Toit came close to redeeming us when she managed a 16 th position in the 10km swim."

The Cape Argus noted that South Africa is currently ranked 63rd in the world in terms of medal placing "and, should the medal count remain unchanged, it would mean our worst performance since readmission at the Barcelona Games in 1992".

South Africa won two medals in 1992, five in Atlanta in 1996, five in Sydney in 2000 and six in Athens four years ago - the latter from a squad of 106 athletes.

Business Day paid tribute to Mokoena who shut his critics up with a silver medal in the long-jump final in a packed national stadium.

"It was a performance that at last brought great relief to the beleaguered Team SA, which has been heavily criticised after more than a week of poor performances and faced the threat of going home empty handed."

The Sowetan took comfort from the fact that the rest of the continent is producing performances to be proud of.

"Most Africans are or should be proud that Nigeria's Super Eaglets have made it to the final of the four-yearly spectacle. They come up against defending champions Argentina who blasted fellow South Americans Brazil 3-0 in the semi-finals.

"The men's African representatives in football were doing it big for the continent, winning against illustrious opponents from the group stages."

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arwebb    128

I didn't realise South Africa had done so poorly this time around. What are they putting that down to?

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Rafa    43

2010 expo in Beijing: R11 million

Funds to Olympic athletes: R9 million

If we've learnt anything, its time to invest in our athletes and facilties because Olympic sport still matters in our country. Unfortunately this performance was needed to get South Africans t lobby government to fund Olympic sport in the way Australia does. We don't suffer from a lack of funds that many small and poor African countries do.

The planned International Aquatic Centre in Cape Town is just the start, after that the proposed new Tennis centre in Cape Town and hopefully tons more investment in athletes,facilties and Olympic sport as a whole.

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micheal_warren    206

this needs to develop over a long period of time as did australia following their disaster of an olympics in 1976

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micheal_warren    206

also similar to the investment that went into sport following the four medals in sydney and five in athens for new zealand and we moved up to 9 medals at these olympics

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Rafa    43

I hope so. We broke 20 African and South African records in the pool yet still failed to get medals.

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Sir Rols    1821

Hopefully, like Australia after 1976, this will provide the kick-up-the-arse South Africa needs to invest in sport.

Cross fingers for Capetown's 2020 chances, though, that there's a few more encouraging signs at the next summer games. A poor performance at London may not kill a Capetown bid , but it wouldn't help. A fairly good showing, on the other hand, will help give such a bid positive vibes.

Edited by Sir Roltel

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Faster    534
I hope so. We broke 20 African and South African records in the pool yet still failed to get medals.

Canada set 28 or 29 and only won 1 bronze, so you're not the only one.

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olympian    3
Canada set 28 or 29 and only won 1 bronze, so you're not the only one.

yet a Canadian swimmer managed to be on the podium while a South African swimmer failed to step on the podium this time. there's a slight difference.

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Fox334    93
yet a Canadian swimmer managed to be on the podium while a South African swimmer failed to step on the podium this time. there's a slight difference.

Also, Canada did better that in Athens, while South Africa went from three medals (gold, silver and bronze) to zero.

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micheal_warren    206

Yes the times in the ppols have really moved forward in the past four years...

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Rafa    43

The outrage in the media in RSA seems to say that Olympic sport still matters here in RSA. Unfortunately we needed this performance to help possibly turn things around. If only we could put our egos aside and learn from the Ozzies.

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mattygs    255

I guess most nations have a horror games every now and then. As has been mentioned, australia had their one in 76, and New Zealand had a bad Games in Sydney (well, bad compared to nz public expectations, but logicially, wasnt that bad at all).

But look at Australia now. And even little New Zealand , population 4.2million, managed to get 3 gold, 1 silver and 5 bronze.

I guess the key i to look at what model is the best for each given country. You can;'t just replicate what Australia has done, or what China has done.

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I guess most nations have a horror games every now and then. As has been mentioned, australia had their one in 76, and New Zealand had a bad Games in Sydney (well, bad compared to nz public expectations, but logicially, wasnt that bad at all).

But look at Australia now. And even little New Zealand , population 4.2million, managed to get 3 gold, 1 silver and 5 bronze.

I guess the key i to look at what model is the best for each given country. You can;'t just replicate what Australia has done, or what China has done.

Right.

And while it´s important to invest in every sport, it´s important to try to keep the higher funds for the sports that the nation has more tradition and popularity, keeping them in a always high level and than developing the others.

For us, brazilians, our worse performance was in Sidney (6 silver, 6 bronze, no golds), perhaps that was the edition when we had more chances of getting the gold. 2008 was just so-so for us, since we raised the total number ( 15, from 10 in Athens), but lowered of number of golds (3 from 5). The overall sentiment, though, is deception, ´cause this time we had more money and a bigger delegation.

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Athan    45

Well, it was a really bad performance for RSA, maybe it's an economical problem, but look at South African Paralympic sportspeople!!!!

They already have 29 medals in the Beijing Paralympics (there's only 3 silver and 5 bronze medals, the rest (21) are golds!) and are placed 6th right after Australia and before Canada.

Congratulations!

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Mainad    199
21 gold!!! its insane..we're so proud!

Indeed.South Africans may be disappointed with the performance of their Olympic team but their Paralympians have more than made up for it with a truly superb display (especially from Natalie du Toit and Oscar Pistorius)! Well done SA!! :)

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Augie4040    0

Cape Town 2020.

Just wait till then and South Africa automatically fields 3 athletes in VERY discipline. Try and work up a better/ newer SAOC medal program and test it out in 2012 London and 2016(chicago/Rio) and with so many South African participating in 2020 Cape Town Games, I can foresee South Africa walking away with 25 medals.

Shocking "home field advantage" improvements happen, just look at the US performance in Salt Lake City compared Nagano only 4 years earlier(we almost tripled our medal count).

Just start HEAVILY recruiting young folks now so they will be ready by 2020. You just gotta build that program.

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