In a little over two months, nations from all around the world will descend on the Broadbeach Bowls Club to contest the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Heading into the Games as hosts, much will be expected of our Jackaroos but there are several other extremely talented nations in their own right who will look to threaten the Aussies.
Helping you get familiarised with some of these nations that are set to grace Australian shores will be our ‘Opposition Analysis’ series.
Next under the microscope are Glasgow standouts South Africa.
The Proteas surprised all in 2014 when they took home five gold and two bronze medals to lead all-comers on the medal tally.
It was the female contingent that dominated in Glasgow, with gold coming in the pairs and fours in addition to further bronze medals in the singles and triples, which meant that four of the seven total medals came from the women’s disciplines.
With two of the five gold coming also coming via para-sport, expect South Africa to be strong in these disciplines again on the Gold Coast.
Here is a breakdown of their squad:
The Star – Colleen Piketh
45-year-old Piketh was thr standout performer in Glasgow taking out gold and bronze in the women’s pairs and singles respectively. Piketh has represented her country since 2003 and will bring spades of experience to the South African team as they bid to replicate her successes in Australia.
The Stalwart – Gerald ‘Gerry’ Baker
Baker is a dual Games medalist having won three medals (one gold, two bronze) spanning between 1998 in Kuala Lumpur and Delhi in 2010, where he collected his maiden gold in the pairs. Also a multiple World Championships medalist, the 57-year-old will once again spearhead the South African squad for the 2018 Games.
The Young Gun – Anneke Snyman
Synman is highly-regarded in South African bowls and will contest her first Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Still only in her early twenties, Synman was dubbed as a future “national sporting heroine” by former Bowls South Africa president Allan Freeman and won her first national medal at just 13 years of age. One to watch on the Broadbeach greens come April.
Team South Africa:
Willem Vijoen (Bowlers with a disability)
Tobias Botha (Bowlers wth a disability)
Christopher Patton (Bowlers with a disability)
Princess Schroeder (Vision-impaired)
Philippus Walker (Vision(impaired)
Image – Colleen Piketh in action at the 2014 Commonwealth Games