South Africa has named 190 athletes for its Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games delegation with more expected at the end of the month ©Getty Images

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) has selected an initial squad of 190 athletes to compete at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games across 16 sports.

Swimmer Chad Le Clos has been called up and is the cusp of making history as he needs just one more medal to match Australian Phillip Adams and Englishman Michael Gault as the most decorated Commonwealth Games athlete of all time.

The 30-year-old has seven gold, three silver, and seven bronze medals and one behind shooters Adams and Gault's 18 medals.

The delegation is not final as some further South African athletes may still qualify for the multi-sport event before the June 29 deadline.

"To us, Birmingham Commonwealth Games presents an opportunity for those athletes with Olympic ambitions to stake their claim for Paris 2024 and LA 2028," said SASCOC chief executive Nozipho Jafta.

"In 2010 in Delhi, Chad Le Clos won gold at the Commonwealth Games and two years later won gold at the 2012 London Olympics.

"In 2018 Tatjana Schoenmaker also announced her arrival on the big stage with gold at the Gold Coast’s Commonwealth Games and then she went on to win gold and world record at the Tokyo Olympics.

"Khotso Mokoena won Silver in Melbourne in 2006 and was the only medallist in Beijing 2008.

"My heart bursts with pride when I look at the composition of Team SA that is going to Birmingham. 

"Birmingham 2022 will have the largest ever female and Para sport programme in history and Team SA will contribute significantly to this."

Chad Le Clos could become the most decorated Commonwealth Games athlete in history if he wins two medals in Birmingham ©Getty Images
Chad Le Clos could become the most decorated Commonwealth Games athlete in history if he wins two medals in Birmingham ©Getty Images

The sports represented in the team are Para athletics, beach volleyball, boxing, cricket, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, judo, lawn bowls, netball, Para lawn bowls, swimming, Para swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball, triathlon, Para triathlon, rugby sevens and weightlifting.

Durban in South Africa was originally selected to host this year's Games but was stripped of the hosting rights in 2017 due to financial constraints.

South Africa is making an active effort to increase diversity in its sports teams ,with a long-term target to make 60 per cent of athletes in its national teams black.

"It’s with immense pride to be able to announce the most transformed Team SA squad in our history," said SASCOC President Barry Hendricks.

"It is testimony to the dedication and commitment from the athletes and their Federations to all in the sporting community.

"We have come a long way and our ongoing commitment is to not just go to Birmingham and make up the numbers.

"We are there to compete and bring back medals and we are doing it with a squad that, for the first time, has a higher female representation than male."

South African medallists and their coaches at Birmingham 2022 are set to receive financial rewards from the country's Government depending on their level of success.

Gold medallists will be given ZAR60,000 (£3,000/$3,700/€3,500) while their coaches will receive ZAR10,000 (£500/$630/€600).

Silver medallists and their coaches will take home ZAR35,000 (£1,800/$2,200/€2,000) and ZAR7,500 (£450/$470/€450), respectively, while bronze medallists are set to receive ZAR20,000 (£1,000/$1,260/€1,200) with their coaches offered ZAR5,000 (£250/$315/€300).