Photos | Team SA gears up for Tokyo Games | Citypress

Photos | Team SA gears up for Tokyo Games

2021-07-23 08:01:00 PM

Photos | Team SA gears up for Tokyo Games

Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has insisted that there is no pressure on Team SA’s contingent at the Tokyo Olympics to win medals.

“We send you our best wishes from the president and his entire government and the population of Mzansi,” said Mthethwa at the virtual press conference on Thursday.“With regards to the task at hand, we wish you a happy, safe and successful mission at the Games. As you know, South Africans are very competitive and have high expectations. However, we don’t want to put too much pressure on the athletes.”

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A spectacular display of fireworks lights up the stadium as the athletes gather during the opening ceremony. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty ImagesAn Olympic flame torch kisses another at the arrival ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch relay in Shinjuku City, Tokyo. Picture Edgar Su/Reuters

Evidence Makgopa of South Africa heads the ball during their opening match against Japan at Tokyo Stadium on Thursday. Japan made a winning start courtesy of a late strike from midfielder Takefusa Kubo in a 1-0 victory. Picture: Roger Sedres/Gallo Images headtopics.com

Members of Team SA’s women’s water polo team pose for a picture at the Tatsumi Water Polo Centre. Picture: Harry How/Getty ImagesSouth Africa’s Candice Lill trains on her mountain bike at the Izu MTB Course in Shizuoka. Picture: Matthew Childs/Reuters

South African Brad Tandy stays afloat during aquatics training at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Picture: Clive Rose/Getty ImagesBoipelo Awuah (left) and Brandon Valjalo wait to practice for their skateboarding competition at the Ariake Urban Sports Park. Picture: Charlie Riedel/AP Photo

According to Reuters, the Tokyo Games opened with fireworks lighting up an almost empty National Stadium and a moment of silence to honour those lost to Covid-19, with a nod to Japanese tradition represented by wooden Olympic rings linked to the 1964 Games.

Postponed for a year, organisers were forced to take the unprecedented step of holding the Olympics without fans as Covid-19 continues to ravage the world.Normally a star-studded display teeming with celebrities, it was eerily silent, with fewer than 1 000 people in attendance, strict social distancing rules and signs calling on the spectators “be quiet around the venue”. headtopics.com

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READ: SA Under-23s must beware of French comebackRegardless, it marks a coming together of the world, with an audience of hundreds of millions around the globe tuning in to watch the start of the greatest show in sport.About 11 000 athletes from 204 national Olympic committees are expected to participate, along with a team of refugee athletes competing under the Olympic flag. The games will close on August 8.

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