JOHANNESBURG– South Africa is counting on athletes Luvo Manyonga and Akani Simbine and swimmer Chad Le Clos to deliver at this year’s Commonwealth Games to be held in Australia’s Gold Coast in April.

South Africa will take part in 16 different sporting codes as the team who will represent South Africa at the Games was announced Tuesday at an event attended by Sports Minister Thulas Nxesi and the President of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASOC), Gideon Sam, at Olympic House here.

In addition to the individual athletes who will participate in the Games, South Africa will send teams in rugby sevens, hockey, netball, triathlon and track cycling, to name some.

In the individual categories, a lot is expected from the likes of sprinter Akani Simbine and long jumper Luvo Manyonga and from world and Olympic champion Chad le Clos in swimming.

SASCOC has faith in the team named to represent the country at the Gold Coast event and Simbine is optimistic about the future, after spending time with the retired charismatic sprint sensation Usain Bolt in Roodepoort on Monday evening.

Simbine said: We were talking about a lot with regards to track and personal life and with regards to track and everything that is happening in athletics life. We spoke about how he sees potential in me and that I have great talent. Telling me that I just need to believe in myself and have confidence now that we are going to a competition.

SASCOC is hoping South Africa will finish at least fifth on the medals table in Australia.

The Rugby Sevens and gymnastics squad are still to be finalised, but the final team will comprise more than 180 athletes. The men’s sevens rugby team will only be named at the end of February.

Sam says he has high expectations from events such as swimming and bowls, and especially athletics. “We are confident that if you look at where we need to bring in the medals, that is gold medals, you are looking at your athletics, swimming, bowls, wrestling, because a team sport can give you one, rugby can give you one. Therefore, when we appeal to them to give us their best performances, it’s precisely because of that, because we need to move up.