Speaking to Courant at the O.R. Tambo international airport, the Blitzboks speedster, Werner Kok, says it’s an exciting time for the team and he is looking forward to going to Brazil for the first time.
“I think Brazil is an amazing country and I cannot wait to go there for the first time. I think it’s going to be hot, though.
“It’s a phenomenal place and I’m so glad the Olympics is being hosted there. I’m very fortunate to be part of the team that is going.”
The Blitzboks, who automatically qualified by ending the 2014/15 season in the top four on the circuit, are considered as favourites for the gold along with New Zealand and Fiji.
While the South Africans are the reigning Commonwealth Games champions and have good experience of playing the sport at that level, the former Toyota Cheetahs winger, Philip Snyman, feels that they are defending their Commonwealth title in a certain regard.
He, however, warns that it is a different competition and anybody can walk away with the gold.
“The Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event in the world, we’re not going to do anything different or approach it any different than any other tournament.
“We’re also aware that everybody is going to be psyched for the event, because everybody wants to win an Olympic gold.
“The competition is going to be very strong and we’re going to have to be at our very best if we want to stand a chance of being on the podium.”
South Africa are in Group B for the tournament and will open their campaign against Spain on 9 August and will face France in their second match later that evening.
Blitzboks Team – Dylan Sage, Philip Snyman, Tim Agaba, Kwagga Smith, Werner Kok, Kyle Brown (captain), Cheslin Kolbe, Rosko Specman, Justin Geduld, Cecil Afrika, Seabelo Senatla, Juan de Jongh. Traveling reserves – Chris Dry and Francois Hougaard.
16:30 South Africa vs. Spain
21:20 South Africa vs. France
16:30 South Africa vs. Australia
21:00 9th place SF1: 9th place vs 12 place
21:30 9th place SF2: 10th place vs 11th place
22:00 Medal QF1: 1st Pool A vs 2nd Best 3rd
22:30 Medal QF2: 2nd Pool C vs 2nd Pool B
23:00 Medal QF3: 1st Pool C vs 2nd Pool A
23:00 Medal QF4: 1st Pool B vs Best 3rd
17:30 11th place play-off: Loser Game 19 vs Loser Game 20
18:00 9th place play-off: Winner Game 19 vs Winner Game 20
18:30 5th place SF1: Loser Game 21 vs Loser Game 22
19:00 5th place SF2: Loser Game 23 vs Loser Game 24
19:30 Medal SF1: Winner Game 21 vs Winner Game 22
20:00 Medal SF2: Winner Game 23 vs Winner Game 24
20:30 7th place play-off: Loser Game 27 vs Loser Game 28
21:00 5th place play-off: Winner Game 27 vs Winner Game 28
21:30 Bronze Final: Loser Game 29 vs Loser Game 30
22:00 Gold Final: Winner Game 29 vs Winner Game 30. – MORGAN PIEK