Mzansi gymnasts off to Taiwan have great safety net

THE South African gymnastics contingent at the forthcoming World Games in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, will be in safe hands.

THE South African gymnastics contingent at the forthcoming World Games in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, will be in safe hands.

Of the more than 70-strong South African squad for the Games, three of them will compete in the various gymnastic disciplines, Lebogang Ramokopelwa, Matthew Levy and Lucky Radebe.

Ramokopelwa will take part in the tumbling routine, Levy in the aerobic gymnastics and Radebe in the trampoline. The management squad is laden with experience, especially in the shape of Anne Cameron-Smith, Tiaan van der Walt and Tseko Mogotsi.

Cameron-Smith is a former gymnast who competed at the last World Games in Duisberg, Germany, in 2005 and her mother, Elizabeth, is chief executive of the South African Gymnastics Federation.

Mogotsi competed in four World Games (1993, 1997, 2001, 2005) winning bronze in 1997 (Lahti, Finland) and silver in 2001 (Akita, Japan). His expertise will help Ramokopelwa, who hails from Mafikeng.

The Van der Walt family have gymnastics running through their veins, with Tiaan a bronze medal winner at the 1984 Trampoline World Age Group championships in Osaka, Japan. His mother Helen will be in Kaohsiung as a judge.

As for the other competitors, Levy is a 33-year-old IT specialist from Cape Town, whose determination to do well can be seen from the fact that he postponed his wedding until after the Games. Hadebe, from Alexandra near Johannesburg, trains and studies in Pretoria at Tukkies. He is the double mini-trampoline African champion.

The World Games run from July 16 to July 26. - Sapa

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