South Africa Turns Down Olympic Water Polo Bids; Romania (Men) and Canada (Women) Claim Spots

Water Polo - South Africa

South Africa Turns Down Olympic Water Polo Bids; Romania (Men) and Canada (Women) Claim Spots

In a surprising development, Swimming South Africa (SSA) pulled its men’s and women’s water polo teams from the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. SSA chief executive Shaun Adriaanse told the Daily Maverick that a minimum 12th-place finish at the recent World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar was necessary to consider both teams making the trip to the French capital.

In Doha, the South African men finished 15th out of 16 teams while the women finished 14th. The Romanian men’s team, which had not qualified for an Olympic Games since 2012, and the Canadian women’s team—a participant in the 2020 Tokyo Games—were both selected to replace the South Africans.

Reports suggest that the SSA announced their decision before notifying athletes, many of whom first heard of the decision through social media. Commentators cited a lack of financial support for water polo and general apathy for the sport in South Africa.

Keanan Hemmonsbey in the Daily Maverick reported that selected players for the World Champs were required to pay approximately R20,000 from their own pockets for flights and accommodation in Doha, as the sport remains largely self-funded.

South Africa’s men’s and women’s polo teams participated in the 2020 Tokyo Games. Both sides finished last in their bracket, with the women 10th and the men 12th.

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Reggie Akpata
Reggie Akpata
1 month ago

Just shocking!

Dave
Dave
1 month ago

Yes Swimming New Zealand did something similiar for Doha, making qualification standards for 50 fly/back/breaststroke so tough you had to get equivalent of top 6 or 7 at Doha to qualify. None did, not even a Fukuoka finalist.

Mike Templeton
Mike Templeton
1 month ago

Commentators are wrong, plain wrong. Swim South Africa deliberately set our teams up for failure, one selection camp in Nov 2023, team announced on the 10th of Jan 2024, coach announced 10 days before leaving for Doha, team got together for first time 3 days before leaving, no skills training , no fitness, no strategy ever discussed.

No player rep involved in the top 12 decision by SSA. Rumour has it the berths we “sold” for 14mil euro?? Adriaanse and his board, appointed by the corrupt ANC Government, have done nothing but take water polo back 30 years, to the point that the national championship has been cancelled this year due to their ridiculous, last minute, race quotas imposed on the teams.

South Africa needs the world to know we have the financial support and desire to compete on the international stage but need to do this outside of the SSA structure. Moves are afoot to sever ties with SSA to achieve this goal.

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