University Sport South Africa (USSA) announced a strong team that will take part at the 30th World Student games in Napoli, Italy, from the 3rd until the 14th of July, in Pretoria, on Thursday.

Team SA will be represented in six sporting codes namely Athletics, Archery, Football (men and women), Rugby 7’s (men and women), Swimming, and Tennis.

Olympic and World Champion Caster Semenya, who is also Tshwane University of Technology student, will not be part of the team according to president Ilhaam Groenewald.

Swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker will be the flag bearer for the team.

Team SA finished with five silver medals at the 2017 games in Taipei, Taiwan. The team finished 44th out of 145 countries.

Groenewald is confident the team will achieve a target of at least eight medals with two gold medals.

Water Polo, Table Tennis, Fencing, Gymnastics, Golf and Badminton were part of the codes at the games in Taiwan. Groenewald explains why they were not considered this time.

In 2017, some of the athletes pulled out of the student games because they wanted to take part at the IAAF World Athletic Championships in London.

400 meter athlete Pieter Conradie pulled out in the middle of the event.

Groenewald is happy the two events will not clash this time.

The World Student Games have been a launching pad for top athletes such as Semenya, Wayde van Niekerk, Akani Simbine, Amanda Dlamini and many more.

Groenewald is proud of the contribution USSA is making. USSA receives funding form the National Lotteries Commission since 2003.

Groenewald is grateful of the funding. – Report by Vincent Sitsula