Elite Athlete Development Programme Media Release
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
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
“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
“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.
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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
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.
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