Buhai withdraws from SA Olympic team

Jul 27, 2021 | Featured, South Africans abroad

Ashleigh Buhai, pictured here teeing off at the Rio Games in 2016, has withdrawn from the South African team for the Olympic Games, legitimately citing health fears as well as pointing out how the pandemic has made travel a daunting undertaking for even the most seasoned of travellers.

Buhai was the only female golfer in the Olympic team, and would have joined Garrick Higgo and Christiaan Bezuidenhout in representing South Africa in Tokyo. The men’s tournament tees off on Thursday, and the women’s event gets underway on Wednesday August 4.

Buhai posted the following note on social media:

“There is no higher honour than representing your country, but I have taken the most difficult decision of my career so far and withdrawn from the 2020 Olympic Games.

“We have multiple tournaments in the weeks after the Olympics, including a Major and I do not want to jeopardize my chances of participating in these tournaments.

“While I know the IGF and IOC are doing everything in their power to keep the athletes safe, the rise in covid cases in Tokyo and the Olympic Village, unfortunately means that I no longer feel comfortable travelling to Tokyo.

“I wish the IGF and all contestants a successful tournament and to Team South Africa, best of luck Garrick Higgo and Christiaan Bezuidenhout, as you fly the flag for our country in your Olympic debut.”

According to sources, Paula Reto was offered the spot, but she declined.

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