The captain of the South African Under-23 national team Tercious Malepe has said that he’s honoured to play in his second Olympic Games.
Malepe, who plays for FC Mynai in the Ukrainian Premier League, is the first South African footballer to achieve this feat after representing South Africa at the Rio Olympics in 2016. He’s now going to lead the South African Under-23s at the Tokyo Olympics, which start on Thursday next week.
“It is a huge honour for me to become the first ever South African footballer to represent my country in two Oympic Games,” Malepe said.
The former Chippa United, Ajax Cape Town, Moroka Swallows and Orlando Pirates defender admitted that they didn’t have a good run at the Rio Olympics. They failed to advance to the knockout stages.
“We didn’t have the greatest of matches in 2016, however we played against some of the best players in the world. This year we have a chance to go beyond the group stages and also show the world what we as South Africans can achieve,” Malepe said.
Malepe and his teammates face hosts Japan at the Tokyo Stadium on Thursday next week. Then clash against France at the Saitana Stadium three days later. They play their group match against Mexico at the Sapporo Dome on 28 July.