SA stars tipped to lead Team SA to glory at the Paris Olympics 

The much-anticipated 2024 Summer Olympic games in the French capital under the famous city lights of the Eiffel Tower in Paris are on the horizon. 

Having had their worst showing since Beijing 2008 and returning home from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics with only three medals, Team SA is hoping that the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup triumph in this city will rub off on it. 

Sunday World looks at some of the stars that are tipped to shine and deliver the goods for Team SA: 

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – AUGUST 19: Akani SIMBINE of South Africa in action in the MenÕs 100m Heats during day 1 of the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 at National Athletics Centre on August 19, 2023 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Anton Geyser/Gallo Images)

Akani Simbine: 

Currently the fastest man in South Africa, Akani Simbine may just be the man to beat in the men’s 100m at the Paris Olympics.  

Simbine has been the hope and anchor in the track and field in the 100m but has somewhat fallen short on the biggest stage. 

In 2016 at the Rio Olympics, he finished fifth in the 100m final and would go on to improve his performance in Tokyo when he finished fourth. 

With his recent impressive performances at the Atlanta City Games in the US where he clocked 9.90 seconds, the 30-year-old will be looking to build from that and carry his form into the Olympics. 


Chad le Clos: 

One of the greatest swimmers to ever grace the swimming pool in the world, Chad le Clos is probably the most adamant former champion who will be looking to redeem himself and return from France with a gold medal hanging around his neck. 

Though Le Clos is SA’s most decorated Olympian, he is probably the hungriest athlete at the moment and is galvanised to get back on the Olympic podium. 


Wayde van Niekerk: 

At the age of 31, Wayde van Niekerk is in the twilight of his career and will be desperate to close it off on a high. 

The 400m world record holder was instrumental in helping South Africa qualify for the 4x400m relay and will hope to usher them to the podium in Paris. 


Tatjana Schoenmaker: 

Tatjana Schoenmaker was one of two athletes who stood on the podium and delivered the three medals at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Schoenmaker won silver in the 100m breaststroke before claiming gold and a new world record in the 200m. 

Now set to use the Smith surname after getting married last year, the 26-year-old will certainly be one of the South Africans expected to return with a medal. 


Lythe Pillay: 

Regarded as the next big thing in the SA track and field, Lythe Pillay will be one to look out for in the 400m and 4x400m races. 

The 21-year-old former world junior champion will also be making his second Olympics appearance and is expected to put up a show with his running shoes in France. 


Prudence Sekgodisa 

Prudence Sekgodisa has undoubtedly sent a warning to all her 800m competitors after producing a miracle at the Diamond League recently.  

The 22-year-old middle–distance runner clocked a world-leading time of 1 min, 57.26 sec in her first international women’s 800m race of the 2024 season.  

Sekgodisa is now the middle-distance queen and the woman to beat in the 800m race in Paris. 

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