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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Ntuli brothers set to represent South Africa at the Tokyo Olympics

University of Pretoria’s Nqobile Ntuli and Siphesihle Ntuli are set to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Siphesihle is the men’s hockey team’s assistant coach while Nqobile will be on the field.

Siphesihle – who is seven years older than Nqobile – played for South Africa’s U16 & U18 schools team and the U21 national team. 

Siphesihle was part of the South African men’s senior squad but unfortunately suffered a lower back injury which forced him to retire as a player when he was only 23. 

The two brothers both played football at school, but we ended up preferring to play hockey.

READ: Student athletes vaccinated ahead of the Tokyo Olympics

They said their main goal is to compete every time they play.

“It sets us up for individual flair, and who knows what that may lead to. The nice thing about being South Africans is that we know how to ‘fight’,” they said.

Nqobile said for him, playing hockey for South Africa is like being an “ambassador of hope” for those younger than him.

“I want aspiring young black hockey players to take note that anything is possible if you are prepared to put your mind to it.

“In the past, many thought it was an unrealistic goal to play for South Africa. So every time I take to the Astroturf, it feels like I am representing their hopes,” he said.

Nqobile plays as a forward for the South African national team.

He said he and his brother have also represented South Africa at the previous World Cup Tournament, as a player and as a coach.

“Both of us going to the Olympics is going to make my mom and the family proud again,” said Nqobile.

Denied a shot at competing at the Rio Olympics, Siphesihle said they are very excited to be part of the team going to Tokyo.

He said playing in Tokyo will not only be about winning medals but making a more lasting impression for the sport in this country.

READ: ‘Siyaya eJapan, Tokyo here we come,’ say UJ sportsmen, women in SA squad

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