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Date: 28 Jun 2012
Title: Banyana hopes to make SA proud at Olympics
By Nthambeleni Gabara
Johannesburg - Banyana Banyana skipper Amanda Dlamini says the team is ready to make the nation proud at the upcoming 2012 London Olympics.
"The nation can expect full participation from us at the Olympic Games as we are committed to perform to the best of our abilities and we've set goals as a team.
"We are hoping that we can reach the second round of the Olympic Games, but from here I think we should just take it one game at a time," Dlamini said in an exclusive interview with BuaNews at the official announcement of Team SA's new sponsor, Sasol, at South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) House.
Dlamini said as a team, they were expecting full support from the nation, which they have been getting since the qualifying matches.
When asked about the spirit at the camp, the skipper said: "Everything is great. There is nervousness and excitement for the upcoming tournament; everyone is just ready for the tournament."
Banyana are drawn in the toughest group, which comprises current champions, Japan; Sweden, which finished third in the 2011 FIFA World Cup, as well as Canada.
However, inspirational central Banyana defender Janine van Wyk said: "We are not afraid of our opponents... We are going there with confidence and we believe that we will put up a good fight against them. We are ready for them."
She said they expected their first match against Sweden to be very tough. However, they would go there with full power to capitalise on the weaknesses of the Swedish national team.
Speaking at the unveiling of the sponsorship, Sascoc President Gideon Sam said: "Today is a happy day for us. On behalf of Sascoc, I'm very happy that a South African company that is committed to developing various sporting codes in our country came on board to support the SA Olympic team in a big way."
Sasol Group Executive Maurice Radebe said: "Our Paralympic Men's Wheelchair Basketball and Banyana Banyana sponsorships have been exceptional investments and the remarkable performance of these teams has ensured they will be forming part of the London-bound Team South Africa.
"Our sponsorship of Team South Africa, [which] now also includes the Olympic team, brings a wonderful alignment to our support of the broader Team South Africa. The sponsorship reinforces our commitment to supporting our teams and working with them to achieve their dreams.
"We are delighted to be involved with the two teams representing the country at the Olympics and Paralympics this year," he said.
The extension of the sponsorship, to include Team South Africa at the 2012 Olympics, has developed from Sasol's sponsorship of Banyana Banyana.
Sasol has been a sponsor of the South African Paralympic team since 2007 and is also the sponsor of the South African Men's Wheelchair Basketball team.
The London Olympic Games start on July 27, while the Paralympics get underway on August 29, ending on September 9. - BuaNews