One lady who was screaming to catch a glimpse of gold medallist, Caster Semenya, said she was inspired by Semenya’s courage and will to win.
“She inspires me to be the best person I can, and her being able to accomplish this during Women’s Month is something special. She is my heroin.”
Semenya ran a personal best to win gold in the 800m with a world leading time of 1:55.28.
“We don’t like losers. Here we want winners. You are a bunch of winners.”
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula applauded the athletes labelling them a bunch of winners.
“We don’t like losers. Here we want winners. You are a bunch of winners and we are very proud of you. If it was up to me, you would get a million rand.”
Mbalula decided to increase the medalist’s reward money with a further R100 thousand for gold medalists, R70 thousand more for silver and R50 thousand more for bronze medalists.
Sascoc President Gideon Sam didn’t have much to say, but thanked the athletes for meeting the medals target set out prior to the games.
“We promised ten medals and we have delivered, thank you.”
Long jump silver medallist, Luvo Manyonga, who missed out on the gold medal by one centimetre says he will buy his mother a new house with his reward money.
Track and field athletes, 400m gold medalist Wayde van Niekerk and javelin silver medalist Sunette Viljoen, were not present at the welcoming as they have a Diamond League competition coming up in France.