Sascoc mulling over numbers to send to Tokyo

Olympic committee undecided over sending big or small team

Barry Hendricks, Sascoc president, during the SASCOC 100-Day countdown to the Tokyo Olympics.
Barry Hendricks, Sascoc president, during the SASCOC 100-Day countdown to the Tokyo Olympics.
Image: Wessel Oosthuizen

Though SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) president Barry Hendricks refuses to put a target on how many medals the team must bring back from the Olympic Games, he is not ruling out the possibility of sending a big team to Tokyo. 

At the Rio Olympics in 2016, Sascoc sent 138 athletes to represent the country.

However, that number could rise to more than 200 athletes across 23 sporting codes at this year’s Olympic Games, taking place from next month. Hendricks said it would cost them R47m to take Team SA to the Games.

The budget required to take the Paralympic team to the Paralympic Games is R18m. CEO Ravi Govender spoke about the administrative process of funding the athletes that will fly the SA flag at the Games, as well as support staff.

When it comes to the projected size of the team heading to the Games, Sascoc said it is still waiting for the athletes that are still hoping to qualify before making the final team announcement on July 4.

“As far as Tokyo is concerned, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee are determined to make these extremely safe Games for all of our athletes. There will be bubbles created, however, that does not mean that our athletes have to be in discomfort. There will be provisions for them to acquire their needs for themselves and for that purpose we will allocate a budget for them. We have budgeted for over 80 people including athletes and officials, and the medical team. We have put in more resources behind that,” said Govender.

However, Hendricks was cagey on the medals target and the possible number people going to the Games. “In some sporting codes the number of support staff differs. For that reason we will wait for those results to come in first before deciding on whether to send a small or a big team. We have to wait for the rest of the qualifications to be made,” Hendricks told Sowetan.

Hendricks will announce the SA flag bearer before the end of the month.

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