Elite Athlete Development Programme Media Release  No: Prime1609

 18 Apr 2016

    Embargo : None

Written by: Nick Tatham


EADP stars heading to Rio

Durban – As the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro draws closer the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation backed Elite Athlete Development Programme (EADP) is celebrating a healthy number of athletes already qualified to represent Team South Africa at the Games in August, proving an indicator that the pioneering collaboration is yielding significant results earlier than expected.

Despite the fact that a number of the EADP athletes have already qualified there are still a few spots that have not been finalised giving these athletes the chance to book their tickets to the greatest sporting event on earth.

“We have got five athletes that have qualified for the Rio Olympic Games as well as two athletes that will be representing South Africa at the Paralympic Games with another four waiting to qualify,” director of the Elite Athlete Development Programme Dennis Jackson said.

“Swimmers Myles Brown, Matthew Meyer and Calvyn Justus have been selected along with paddler, and former bronze medalist, Bridgitte Hartley and triathlete Henri Schoeman.

“We are still waiting on mountain bike star Alan Hatherly, our open water swimmers Chad Ho and Michelle Webber and young 400 metre track hopeful Zoe Engler to finish their qualification processes before we know whether they have been selected.”

Producing athletes that qualify for the world’s biggest sporting events is the aim of the programme so seeing these athletes represent South Africa on the biggest stage is a testament to the athletes, the programme and the coaches and staff that have been with them throughout.

“The program has now been running just over two years and the 2016 Olympics are one of our first measurable outcomes and as a programme we are ecstatic with the representation we will have at the Rio games.

“We actually didn’t expect to see results coming through so quickly on the programme as majority of athlete development programs look at four year cycles before they see significant results.

“The majority of our athletes that will be representing South Africa are still quite young so we are very excited to see how they grow over the next few years leading to Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast 2018, Olympic Games in Japan 2020 and Durban 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The EADP athletes will provide stiff competition for the international stars at the Games and the programme is hopeful that both our abled and disabled athletes will return to Durban with medals.

“We are excited to see our world record holder Kevin Paul go in the pool at the Paralympic Games along with shot put star Tyrone Pillay. They are both medal contenders which is exciting for us.

“Henri Schoeman has been in great form this year and is now ranked fifth on the World Triathlon Series which stands him in good stead to compete for a medal and Calvyn Justus will anchor our strong medley relay team which included Chad le Clos, Cameron van den Berg and Christopher Reid.

“Bridgitte Hartley was one of the stand-out South African athletes at the London Games and she will be hoping that she can recreate her medal winning form when the paddling starts.

Rehabilitation from injury can often put athletes in the position where they are racing against time to be physically ready to compete however with all the help that is available to EADP athletes sometimes they miss out.

“Sips Biyase was part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games gymnastics team however after a car accident in 2015 he has been through a year-and-a-half of rehabilitation and has only just started competing again recently which ruled him out, unfortunately.

“Swimmer Ayrton Sweeney broke his elbow at the end of last year and although he worked very hard to get back in time for Olympic trials he ended agonisingly close but just missed out in the 200m Breaststroke qualification time by two seconds,” Jackson added.

For more information visit www.eadp.co.za 

ENDS

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South African triathlon star Henri Schoeman is in fine form on the international scene as he currently sits fifth in the world on the Triathlon World Series rankings which stands him in good stead to push for a medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. Supplied/
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Myles Brown was elated when he qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and will be homing that he can give South Africa the start they need in the pool at the iconic showpiece. Supplied/
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