South African fans’ guide to Rio 2016 – Week 1 (3-12 August)


2 August

The Summer Olympic Games begin on 5 August, with South African track star and official flag-bearer Wayde van Niekerk leading the South African team of 137 athletes into the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the opening ceremony.

Over two weeks, a worldwide audience of more than 30 million will have to navigate wall-to-wall sport action, and for any patriotic South African sport fan, it’s vital to have the all the details of when athletes from the national team are featured.

Here is a guide to important Olympic events featuring participants from Team South Africa at Rio 2016. You can also check out the South African athletes’ social media profiles to stay up to date with their preparations and send them some good luck.

Please note the time differences between Rio and South Africa – South Africa is five hours ahead of Brazil. All times in this guide are local South African times.

Times and events are subject to change. Consult the official Rio Olympics 2016 website or the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) website for more details about events and participants.

Also check your television service provider for detailed schedules.

You can follow all the South African Olympic action on Sascoc’s social media platforms:

Week 1

Wednesday-Thursday, 3-4 August


The Games may not be officially under way yet, but the pool games for men’s and women’s football begin before the opening ceremony.

Banyana Banyana play their first game against Sweden at 18:00 on 3 August, while the men’s team play hosts Brazil on 4 August at 12:00.

See the dates below for the times of the remaining games.

Friday, 5 August

Opening ceremony – starts at 23:00

The good news is that South Africa will feature early in the extended alphabetical team presentation, known traditionally as the Parade of Nations, as it is custom to use the host’s official language to determine the order. South Africa in Brazilian Portuguese is Africa do Sol, so the team will follow Greece – as originators of the Olympic Games – and Afghanistan.Keep a look out for Van Niekerk as the team flag-bearer and what the athletes will be wearing.

Saturday, 6 August

13:00: RowingThe rowing competition begins today and ends on 13 August. South Africa has qualified five boats for the men’s and women’s pair and four-person rowing categories. Team captains and pair rowers John Smith and James Thompson won gold in London in 2012.

Included in the team are London veteran Lee-Ann Persse and newcomers Kate Christowitz, Ursula Grobler and Kirsten McCann.

14:30: Men’s road cycling raceFeaturing South Africa’s Daryl Impey and Louis Meintjies. South African-born Chris Froome (the 2016 Tour de France winner) will be racing for Team Great Britain.


15:00 (throughout the day): Equestrian dressage, featuring Tanya Seymour

18:00-21:00: Swimming heats

400m freestyle featuring Myles Brown

400m individual medley featuring Michael Meyer and Sebastien Rousseau

100m breaststroke heats featuring Cameron van der Burgh

Sunday, 7 August

00:00: Women’s football. Captain Janine van Wyk leads South Africa in their second game of the tournament, against China

17:00: Women’s road cycling race featuring Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and An-Li Kachelhoffer.


18:00-21:00: Swimming

Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games champion Chad le Clos featuring in the 200m freestyle heats. Myles Brown attempting to qualify for the same event. Christopher Reid is in the 100m backstroke heat

20:00-22:00: Diving

vJulia Vincent is only the second South African to participate in an Olympic diving event. Vincent features in the 3m springboard competition

Monday, 8 August

00:00: Men’s football. Coach Owen da Gama inspires South Africa in their second game of the tournament, against Denmark.

17:00-21:00: Open water canoeing, featuring London 2012 bronze medallist Bridgitte Hartley competing in the Women’s K-1 500m. Hartley was named the best female paddler in the world in 2015, so chances are good she can improve on her London success this year.

Tuesday, 9 August

03:00-05:00: Swimming. Men’s 200m butterfly semi-final, possibly featuring Chad le Clos and the US’s Michael Phelps rematch from London 2012. Also on the cards: the 100m backstroke final and 200m freestyle final; both could feature South African swimmers16:00-22:00: Sevens rugby. Pool matches featuring the Blitzbokke against Spain and France. The team takes on Australia on 10 August at 16:00 to battle for a place in the quarter-finals later in the day and then the final games on 11 August, from 16:00

18:00-20:00: Swimming. 200m breaststroke heats featuring Cameron van der Burgh, and the men’s freestyle relay with South Africa represented by Van Der Burgh, Chad le Clos, Sebastien Rousseau and Christopher Reid

Wednesday, 10 August

02:00: Women’s football. South Africa versus Brazil03:00-06:00: Swimming. A possible Chad le Clos in a 200m butterfly final, plus Cameron van Der Burgh in 200m breaststroke final, and a men’s relay final22:00: Men’s football. South Africa’s third game, against Iraq

Thursday, 11 August

13:00-22:00: Badminton. Jacob Maliekal tries to shuttlecock his way through the heats to earn a place in the playoffs later in the day. Heats are from 11-13 August, with the quarter-finals and semis later in the week. The men’s singles final is on 20 August.

12:00-21:00: Golf. The four-day men’s competition starts, with South Africans Brandon Stone and Jaco van Zyl participating. This is first time golf has been included in the Olympic Games since 1904

18:00-20:30: Swimming. The 50m freestyle heats feature Douglas Erasmus and Brad Tandy, plus Chad le Clos again in action in the 100m butterfly heats


Friday, 12 August

Women’s football. Quarter-finals03:00-06:00: Swimming. Brad Tandy, Douglas Erasmus and Chad le Clos in action in the semi-finals and finals of their respective events14:00-18:00: Athletics gets into full swing today, with South Africans Dominique Scott in the women’s 10km track event and Reinhardt van Rensburg in the 800m heats. Van Rensburg is a 2016 African Championships bronze medallist. Scott is coming off a successful two years in the United States, running for the University of Arkansas. She is the current 5 000m and 10 000m National Collegiate Athletic Association champion

19:30: South African walkers Lebogang Shange and Wayne Snyman participate in the 20km walk race. Shange won gold at the 2015 African Games

Source: Official Rio Olympics 2016 websiteWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using material

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