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South Africa Olympics team welcomed home

08-15-2012 02:46 BJT Special Report: 2012 London Olympic Games |

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JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- South Africans, black and white, are united thanks to the SA Team taking part in the London Olympic Games, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said here on Tuesday.

"Today we are united, black and white, because of your deeds... what you have done will remain in the annals of history," the minister said upon arrival home from the London games.

South Africa won three gold medals, two silver medals and one broze medal, standing at the 24th position in the overall ratings.

The South Africa's Olympic team has restored the nation's pride, Mbalula said, paying special tribute to Cameron van der Burgh who won a gold medal in swimming.

This gold medal had changed South Africa, Mbalula said. "When that gold was delivered it (all) changed for our nation. I want to say to you Cameron, 'job well done'. We would have been disappointed had you not delivered that gold."

"There are no words that can describe the joy you have delivered. I don't think you can completely understand what you have done to this great nation."

But SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) President Gideon Sam said earlier that the country left a few medals behind at the Games.

"For me it is a success in some ways, but also in other ways I feel we left the medals behind; the medals were there for the taking," Sam said.

South Africa set a target of 12 medals before the Games kicked off. But despite failure to achieve the target, South Africa concluded this year's global showpiece as their most successful Games since re-admission to international sport in Barcelona, in 1992. At the 2008 Beijing Games, South Africa won only one silver medal.

SA athletes won three medals in water-sports, one in rowing, one in canoeing and one in women's middle distance ace.

The SA athletes had been expected to win medals in track and field, and mountain biking, but could not make it.


Editor:James |Source:

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