South Africa U23 Olympic Team captain Tercious Malepe is set to make history when he leads the country at the global tournament next week.
Malepe (24) is set to become a double Olympian on Thursday next week when he leads South Africa onto the pitch for the nation's Group A opener against Japan.
The former Orlando Pirates defender– who has agreed to join AmaZulu after the tournament – will become the first-ever South African player to feature in the two editions of the competition, after he previously also took part in the 2016 event.
"We footballers have the opportunity to lift the spirit of our motherland using football as a nation-building tool," Malepe told SAFA.net ahead of the milestone.
"It is a huge honour for me to become the first-ever South African footballer to represent my country in two Olympic Games. If we do well, this team can heal the country and showcase the good side of Mzansi.
Apart from the hosts, South Africa has also been drawn alongside France and Mexico in Group A and Malepe is adamant that the nation will deliver a stronger showing than in each of the nation's previous two appearances at the Games.
"We didn’t have the greatest of matches in 2016, however, we played against some of the best players in the world," he added. "This year we have a chance to go beyond the group stages and also show the world what we as South Africans can achieve.
"Japan will not be an easy task but we have studied their style of play and we have a few of the same qualities as them in our squad. We are in a tricky Group A, but we too are a force to be reckoned with."
Scroll through the gallery below to see some of the stars who will be taking part in the Olympic Games