With the 2016 Rio Olympic Games just around the corner, the South African women’s national football team are gearing up for their opening match against Sweden Wednesday evening.
Banyana Banyana will want to prove that they have what it takes to compete at the highest level internationally. Sweden is ranked sixth in the world and they outclassed the South Africans in the 2012 London Olympics with a 4-1 win.
Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw said here Tuesday that she had done all she could to prepare the team for its Olympics campaign. “It is now up to them, they need to show that they are ready for it and leave all the little things behind them in the dressing room and that they make it the best games that they could ever have,” she added.
Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk is relishing the opportunity of leading the team out the Games. Van Wyk said Banyana had to make an impact in their first match which kicks off at 6pm local time (2100 hous UTC).
“The time is here, now. We all know that we are playing probably the toughest opponents in our group and we have to make an impact in our first game for us to get to as far as we possibly want to get,” she added.
“It’s going to be a really tough match for us and whatever we worked through in the past eight months, we will put it in the game and see what we can make of it and hopefully, get a good result.”
Banyana Banyana’s second match will be against hosts Brazil on Saturday before facing another tough opponent, China, next Tuesday in their final group match.
Meanwhile, despite a last minute rush to address problems, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) says that Rio de Janeiro will deliver a successful event.
IOC President Thomas Bach said the Olympic Games would uplift Rio. “Rio de Janeiro would not be where it is today without the Olympics Games as a catalyst. History will talk about Rio de Janeiro before the Games and a much better Rio after the Games. It has been a long and testing journey to get to this point for all stakeholders of the Olympic movement, for our Brazilian friends and for the IOC.”
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK