S African men will aim to improve on their last Games rank

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Current World Ranking # 12 (1130 points)

Clubbed with Australia, Great Britain, Spain, Pakistan and Argentina in Pool A at the London Games.

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Best result: Tenth position at 1996 Atlanta and 2004 Athens Games.

Last Olympics: Finished twelfth.

South Africa will make their fourth appearance in the Olympics at the London Games. They finished tenth in the 2010 World Cup while got the third position at the Champions Challenge at home last year. South Africa are also the African Cup of Nations champions since 1993.

The Road to London:
South Africa chose a harder way to the Olympics by deciding to play the qualifiers despite winning the African Qualifier last September. They participated in the Olympic Qualification Tournament 3 at Kakamigahara in Japan where they beat the hosts 2-1 in the final.

Players to watch out for:
Justin Reid-Ross is one of the world's best penalty-corner experts and excelled in the top league like Dutch Hoofdklasse. He also has a brilliant presence from the back, either in the centre or overlapping down the flanks. Lloyd Norris-Jones and Thornton McDade, both of whom had scored against Japan in the final of the qualifying match, along with the skipper, Austin Smith, are key assets to the team.

1. Mentally tough.
2. Great team spirit.
3. Some of their players have experience of playing in top clubs in Europe.

1. Playing twice in the qualifying rounds could be an exhaustive experience for the South African team. Their mixed results in the recent warm-up matches could be an indicator to that.
2. Defence is not very strong.
3. Lack of strong teams in Africa also make it difficult to get good practice matches near home.

Chances of progress at the London Games: 3/10

Teams like Australia, Spain and Pakistan will make it difficult for the South Africans to make the semifinals. However, a rank somewhere between the fifth and eighth spots will be a good show for the lowest-ranked team in the men's fray. South Africa will play their first match against Australia on Jul 30.

Austin Smith (c), Erasmus Pieterse (gk), Timothy Drummond, Ian Haley, Rhett Halkett, Andrew Cronje, Julian Hykes, Lance Louw, Marvin Harper, Thornton McDade, Lloyd Norris-Jones, Taine Paton, Lloyd Madsen, Wade Paton, Justin Reid-Ross and Jonathan Robinson. Reserves: Jacques Le Roux (gk) and Clinton Panther.

Gregg Clark, an experienced player, will be making his fourth Olympic appearance this year, second time as a coach. He had played for South Africa in Atlanta and Athens Games. He was South Africa's player of the year in 1998. He guided his home team to the Beijing Games four years ago and will look to improve on the final standings.

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