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Le Clos, Schoenmaker named in South Africa Commonwealth Games squad

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'I will always want to beat Phelps' - Chad le Clos (2:10)

South African swimmer Chad le Clos says he's never had a problem with swimming legend Michael Phelps, and that sport is not personal to him. He just wants to win, even against his friends. (2:10)

South Africa have announced their provisional squad for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in late July, with Olympic champions Chad le Clos and Tatjana Schoenmaker leading the swim team.

Schoenmaker, who won two breaststroke gold medals in Tokyo last year, has opted to compete at the Commonwealth Games rather than the FINA World Championships, which take place later this month in Budapest, Hungary.

The 24-year-old told ESPN: "I think I just needed time after the Olympics. The time gap between World Champs and Commonwealth is a bit of a challenge. It's about four or five weeks, which is hard because it's not full season.

"I had to make a decision which one [to compete in]. For me, Commonwealth will give me better preparation [time]. It will be my first international racing again.

"I would have loved to go to World Champs and see the girls again, race some of the best again, but the competition at Commonwealth is just as great. For me, I will be better prepared at Commonwealth than I would have been at World Champs."

Le Clos, who recently opened up about his mental health struggles in 2021, including at Tokyo where he failed to medal, won golds in the 50m and 100m butterfly events at the SA National Championships in April.

He will be joined on the team by training partner Matthew Sates, while Lara van Niekerk, who beat Schoenmaker at the SA Champs and is the 50m breaststroke Commonwealth record holder, is also named.

Elsewhere, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Henri Schoeman is named for the triathlon, while both men's and women's Rugby Sevens teams will be present in Birmingham, along with the Proteas women's cricket team.

A notable inclusion in the para-games contingent is wheelchair racing legend Ernst van Dyk, who at 49 will be one of the oldest competitors at the Games. He holds a record 10 Boston Marathon wheelchair titles, as well as two Olympic gold medals for the wheelchair road race, in Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016.

The athletics team has not yet been named, as they're currently competing at the African Championships in Mauritius, and the deadline for qualification, for all sports, for Birmingham is June 29.

SA SQUAD:

BEACH VOLLEYBALL

Men: Leo Williams, Grant Goldschmidt

BOXING

Men: Amzolele Dyeyi, Simnikiwe Bongco

Women: Phiwokuhle Sbusisiwe

CRICKET Women: Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Trisha Chetty, Nadine de Klerk, Lara Goodall, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Maria Klaas, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Tumi Sekhukhune, Shabnim Ismail, Chloe Tryon Mignon van der Merwe (Du Preez), Dane van Niekerk, Laura Wolvaardt, Andrie Steyn, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Delmari Tucker

CYCLING

Men: Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg, Darryl Impey, Gustav Basson, Nicholas Dlamini, Morne van Niekerk, Alan Hatherly

Women: Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Hayley Preen, Francis Janse van Rensburg, Mariske Strauss, Candice Lill

GYMNASTICS

Women: Caitlin Rooskrantz, Naveen Daries, Mammule Rankoe, Shante Koti, Garcelle Napier

HOCKEY

Women: Bernadette Coston, Bianca Wood, Edith Molikoe, Erin Christie, Hannah Pearce, Hanrie Louw, Jean-Leigh du Toit, Kristen Paton, Lisa-Marie Deetlefs, Lillian du Plessis, Maboloke Serage, Marizen Marais, Onthatile Zulu, Phumelela Mbande, Quanita Bobbs, Robyn Johnson, Shirndre-Lee Simmons, Tarryn Lombard

JUDO

Women: Michaela Whitebooi, Charné Griesel, Donné Breytenbach

Men: Thomas Breytenbach

LAWN BOWLS

Men: Petrus Breitenbach, Jason Evans, Prince Neluonde, Wayne Rittmuller, Bradley RobinsonWomen: Bridget Calitz, Esme Kruger, Elinah Muvhango, Colleen Piketh, Johanna Snyman, Jessica Henderson

NETBALL

Women: Khanyisa Chawane, Izette Griesel, Boitumelo Mahloko, Phumza Maweni, Tshinakaho Mdau, Bongiwe Msomi, Lenize Potgieter, Lefebre Rademan, Monique Reyneke, Nicola Smith, Nichole Taljaard, Elmeré van der Berg, Shadine van der Merwe, Ine-Marí Venter, Zanele Vimbela

PARA LAWN BOWLS

Women: Victoria van der Merwe, Tracy Smith, Desiree Levin, Johanna van Rooyen (director)

Men: Deon van der Vyver, Harmanus Scholtz, Willem Viljoen, Thomas Smith (director)

PARA ATHLETICS

Men: Jaco Smit, Jonathan Ntutu, Charl du Toit, Ernst van Dyk

Women: Mandilene Hoffmann, Yane van der Merwe, Sheryl JamesCoaches: Jason Sewanyana, Daniel Damon

RUGBY SEVENS

Women: Donelle Snyders, Alichia Arries, Felicia Jacobs, Bianca Augustyn, Luleka Tyibilika, Snenhlanhla Shozi, Mathrin Simmers, Asisipho Plaatjies, Anacadia Minnaar, Unathi Mali, Liske Lategan, Kemisetso Baloyi, Kyla de Vries, Nontuthuko Shongwe, Faith Gosling, Zandile Masuku, Thandiswa Nxomani

Men: Sakoyisa Makata, Impi Visser, Zain Davids, Angelo Davids, JC Pretorius, Selvyn Davids, Ronald Brown, Jordan Hendrikse, Dewald Human, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Muller du Plessis, Mfundo Ndhlovu, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Christie Grobbelaar, Ruhan Nel, Seabelo Senatla, Manie Libbok

SWIMMING

Men: Chad le Clos, Matthew Sates, Michael Houlie, Pieter Coetze, Dante Nortje, Andrew Ross, Guy Brooks, Brenden Crawford

Women: Emma Chelius, Kaylene Corbett, Tatjana Schoenmaker, Lara van Niekerk, Aimee Canny, Rebecca Meder, Erin Gallagher, Dune Coetzee, Olivia Nel, Michaela Pulford

Men's Para: Christian Sadie

Women's Para: Cornelle Leach, Alani Ferreira

TABLE TENNIS

Men: Theo Cogill, Shaun Jones, Cheetan Nathoo, Kirshwin Steyn

Women: Danisha Patel, Musfiquh Kalam, Lailaa Edwards, Zodwa Maphanga

TRIATHLON

Men: Henri Schoeman, Jamie Riddle, Nicholas Quenet

Women: Simone Ackermann, Shanae Williams, Hannah Newman

PARA TRIATHLON

Men: David Jones, Gavin Kilpatrick, Casper Moodie (guide), Rohan Kennedy (guide)

Women: Linsay Engelbrecht, Trish Heimann (guide)

WEIGHTLIFTING

Men: Jon-Antohein Phillips, Ruben Burger, Nathan Eli Morris

Women: Anneke Spies

WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL

Men: Allen Mtatase, Cecil Dumond, Ayabonga Jim, Simanga Mbhele

Women: Aviwe Ngoni, Samkelisiwe Mbatha, Michelle Moganedi, Kelebogile Moeng