Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has commended Team South Africa’s performance at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.
“We are immensely proud of the South African team for their outstanding performance at the Olympic games this year and for making and smashing national and world records,” said President Zuma in a statement on Sunday.
South Africa garnered 10 medals at the Olympics. This includes two gold medals, six silver medals and two bronze medals.
Athlete Wayde van Niekerk firstly clinched gold for the country when he made world history by breaking the 17-year-old record set by Michael Johnson’s mark of 43.18 in the men’s 400m. Van Niekerk won the gold medal and set a world record of 43:03 seconds.
On Saturday, South Africa’s golden girl, Caster Mokgadi Semenya, won the 800m gold medal at one minute 55.28 seconds, making this the 25th gold won by South Africa in the country’s Olympic history.
“The team has once again put the country on the global map and proved indeed that we are a winning nation. We also thank the people of South Africa for their full support of our athletes,” said President Zuma.
Adding to the President’s comments, Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula congratulated Semenya on her historical achievement at the games.
Minister Mbalula watched Caster’s historical moment with the Springboks team after their win against Argentina on Saturday evening.
“On my visit at the Athletes’ Village in Rio, I met Caster Semenya together with Team South Africa. I sent messages of support on behalf of South Africans. Caster was motivated and in high spirits and assured me that she will make South Africa proud. She did not disappoint but exceeded our expectations,” said Minister Mbalula.
The Olympic Games concluded on Sunday, with South Africa standing at number 30 in the medal standings out of a total 205 countries that participated in 42 sport disciplines.
Minister Mbalula also urged South Africans to come out in their numbers to welcome Team SA back home when they land at O.R Tambo International Airport on Tuesday.