Team South Africa started the penultimate day of activities with 35 medals in the bag. Here’s how they fared on Saturday, 14 April.
Men’s 4x100m Relay, Final: Individual 100m gold medallist Akani Simbine anchored the SA quartet to a new national record as they ended second to England. Henricho Bruintjies led off and Emile Erasmus took over down the back straight. Anaso Jobodwana had plenty of work to do but made up some ground before handing over to Simbine. Simbine seared down the home straight and picked off Australian Josh Clarke who was rocking and rolling. More impressively he hauled in Jamaica’s Yohan Blake to secure the silver medal behind England (38.13). At the line Simbine was the fastest man on the track. The 38.24 time by SA smashes the old record of 38.35 set at the last Games in Glasgow. Simbine and Bruintjies were both part of that team.
Men’s Javelin, Final: Phil-Mar van Rensburg opened with a solid 77.00 and followed up with 79.83m. But that was to be his best of the day on a hot afternoon at the Carrara Stadium. That 79.83 put him in fourth place 82.20, 2.37m off the bronze medal throw. ‘My start was OK and I felt everything was there, the crowd was electric, experience was great but on the day the body just didn’t fire. The problem was the block on my left side gave in. I felt like I had an 82m plus throw in my but it just didn’t work out. It’s still early in the season – this is only my third competition of the year – so let’s just hope to build from here.’
Men’s Road Race, Final: Bronze! 26-year-old Paarl cyclist Clint Hendricks sprinted to the bronze medal in the men’s road race when he took third in a photo finish behind Australia’s Steele von Hoff and Welshman Jonathan Mould. The first nine cyclists were credited with the same time, 3:57:01, and Hendricks just got his wheel in front of Northern Irishman Mark Downey where it counted most. It was Team SA’s 37th medal of the Games, and their 13th bronze up to that stage. Brendon Davids was credited with 18th position, some 57 seconds off the front, with Bradley Potgieter 27th (+2:07). Further back in 38th was Nicholas Dlamini (+2:38), while Nolan Hoffmann did not finish.
Women’s 3m Springboard, Preliminaries: Julia Vincent was the only one of three SA competitors to make it through to the evening final, and it was by the thickness of her costume! The Rio Olympian and top-10 world championships finisher scored 229.50 to be the 11th and second last qualifier. Nicole Gillis (221.15) and Micaela Bouter (213.70) failed to make it through.
Women’s 3m Springboard, Final: South Africa’s leading diver, Julia Vincent placed sixth with a score of 291.45. The only one of three SA divers to make the final, the US-based athlete ended behind three Aussies and two Canadians, one of whom, Jennifer Abel, won with a score of 366.95.
Men’s Pool A: South Africa opened the defence of their Commonwealth title with an easy run-out against Malaysia. Up 22-0 at the break they fell one short of doubling that score by the full-time whistle (43-0). Six players shared the seven tries scored, with Justin Geduld the highest points scorer with two tries and two conversions.In South Africa’s second game, their defence was once again watertight as the beat Papua New Guinea 52-0 with Rosco Spekman and Ruhan Nel both getting two tries apiece. The Blitzboks last game was a late-night affair against Scotland and they won 27-5 as Specman, Nel, Justin Geduld and Cecil Afrika all contributed.
Women’s Pool A: The national women’s side lost their final pool game when they went down 19-10 to Kenya. Trailing 14-0 at halftime they at least had the consolation of outscoring their fellow Africans 10-5 in the second half. The tries came from Mathrin Simmers and Zenay Jordaan. On Friday they lost their first two games to Canada and New Zealand. Coach Paul Delport’s side will now play off for positions 5-8 on Sunday.
– South Africa’s men’s and women’s teams both play Fiji on Sunday, the final day of the Games. Team South Africa are only in action in sevens. The women play Fiji in a fifth-eighth place play-off while the men take on Fiji in semi-final action. The games are 1.30am SA time (9.31am Gold Coast time) and 4.05am (12.05pm) respectively.
Queen’s Prize Individual Finals, Day Three: Petrus Haasbroek ended 11th after three tough days of shooting. His score was 399-45VBulls while compatriot Jacobus du Toit ended 20th with a score of 393.33VBulls. Winner was England’s David Luckman who compiled a tally of 404-49VBulls.
Men’s TT6-10 Singles, Bronze Medal Match: Theo Cogill lost his quest for a medal when he went down to Joshua Stacey. The Welshman won in five games, 3-2 the final scoreline with game scores being 11-8 4-11 6-11 13-11 8-11.
Men’s Freestyle (86kg) 1/8 Final: Team South Africa’s grapplers were unable to build on the heady highs of Martin Erasmus’ gold medal on Friday when Michael Gaitskill lost his opening bout. He went down to Alexander Moore, losing out to the Canadian on a technical superiority decision (12-2 on technical points). Gaitskill’s defeat means SA have finished their action in this code – highlight being Martin Erasmus’ gold in the 97kg division on Friday!
Photo: Nomsa Mokwai of South Africa in rugby sevens action against New Zealand at the Games, by Phil Walker/Getty Images