South Africa’s netball captain Bongi Msomi and para-swimmer Christian Sadie were named as flag bearers for Team SA at Thursday’s opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) made the announcement ahead of the event that will officially launch the global showpiece.
The date, 28 July, also marks exactly a year to go until the start of the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town and Msomi will lead a team determined to make a strong impression at these Games in Birmingham.
Team SA’s netballers have been drawn in Group A where their round-robin opponents will be Australia, Jamaica, Scotland, Wales and Barbados. The top two countries from each group will progress to the semi-finals.
“Congratulations to Bongi and Christian on their appointment,” said Ms Lwandile Simelane, the Team SA Chef de Mission. “Both exemplify the spirit of the Games and both are dedicated and high-achieving athletes. They competed at the 2018 Games in Gold Coast and have done themselves and their country proud on the international stage on numerous occasions over the years.
“This is a ground-breaking Games for Team SA and we are proud to be able to hand Bongi and Christian the honour of carrying the flag on such an auspicious occasion as the opening ceremony,” Ms Simelane said.
The Commonwealth Games are the only multi-sport event that feature equal standing for sport and para-sport events, and these 2022 Games will showcase the largest para-sport programme ever. In addition, for the first time in its history, the Games will feature more medal events for women (135) than men (133).