With one gold medal under their belt from day one, when Henri Schoeman won the triathlon, Team SA went in search of more medals on day two. And they hit paydirt in the pool! This is how they fared.
Mixed Team, Group C: South Africa suffered their second whitewash of the Games when they were beaten by England, losing 5-0. Prakash Vijayanath and Michelle Butler-Emmett were beaten 21-12, 21-15 by Ben Lane and Jessica Pugh.
Bongani van Bodenstein lost his men’s singles match 21-7, 21-7 to Rajiv Ouseph.
Joanna Scholtz lost her women’s singles match 21;10, 21-10 to Chloe Birch.
In the men’s doubles, Cameron Coetzer and Van Bodenstein went down 21-7, 21-7 to Lane and Chris Adcock.
And in the women’s doubles, Buttler-Emmett and Elmé de Villiers were beaten 21-12, 21-17 by Sarah Walker and Lauren Smith.
Mixed Team, Group C: South Africa recorded their first victory at these games, bouncing back in their second match of the day when they beat continental counterparts Uganda 3-2!
First match saw Vijayanath and Butler-Emmett beat Brian Kasirye and Aisha Nakiyemba 21-16 21-15.
The first of the two singles match-ups saw Bongani van Bodenstein going down to one of the top players on the continent in Edwin Ekiring, the Tuks player losing 21-13 21-11.
The women’s singles saw Scholtz going down to Shamim Bangi 21-13 22-20.
Men’s double action then ended with the tie all square at 2-2 as Vijayanath and Cameron Coetzer beat Ekireng and Kasirye 21-16 21-16.
That left the two teams with everything to play for and it was the turn for girl-power to come to the fore.
And boy, did they do just that! They needed just 19 minutes to beat Nakiyemba and Bangi 21-10 21-10.
Preliminary, Men’s Triples: South Africa’s Gerald Baker, Rudi Jacobs, Morgan Muvhango beat Papua New Guinea in a close encounter, 16-15. In their second match of the day they went down to England 24-13.
Preliminary, Women’s Singles: Colleen Piketh had an easy 21-4 victory over Tonga’s Malia Kioa with the Pacific Islander unable to add to her score over the last five ends. But Piketh then went on to lose against Australia’s Karen Murphy, the score 21-16.
Preliminary, Men’s Pairs: Petrus Breitenbach, Jason Evans posted an impressive 28-6 win over Jamaica.
Preliminary, B2/B3 Mixed Pairs: Princess Schroeder, Phillip Walker had a narrow 14-12 win against New Zealand.
Prelininary: Open B6/B7/B8 Triples: Christopher Patton, Tobias Botha, aand Willem Viljoen went down 13-10 to the host nation.
Preliminary, Women’s Fours: Elma Davis, Esme Kruger, Nicolene Neal, Johanna Snyman had a comfortable 19-7 win over the small island nation of Jersey.
Preliminary, Men’s Pairs: Petrus Breitenbach and Jason Evans got the better of Northern Ireland to end a day of bowling which saw six combinations winning and three on the wrong side of the scoreline.
Men’s 46-49kg: Team SA’s Siyabulela Mphongoshi lost his last 16 encounter against Sri Lanka’s Thikwanka Ranasinghe. Boxing was held at the impressive Oxenford Studios, an event surrounded by some extremely hair-raising theme parks with rollercoaster rides etc. Pretty much like this flight-flyweight encounter, which was an all-action affair. But the result was very lop-sided. Fighting out of the red corner, the South African went down 4-0 on points and had one point deducted by Canadian referee, Frank Fiacco. Of the five judges only one thought the Port Elizabeth based fighter deserved a draw. The judges scores for the three-rounder were 29-27, 29-27, 28-28, 29-27, 29-27.
Women’s 3000m Individual Pursuit qualifying: While none of the women went through to the evening final… there was much to smile about. Charlene du Preez set a new South African record of 3min 45.764sec in finishing 18th in the 22-strong field. Ilze Bole and the young Danni van Niekerk were 19th and 21st respectively and their times of 3:53,312 and4:03.570 were both comfortable personal bests.
Men’s 4000m Individual Pursuit: Just like their women counterparts, Steven van Heerden, Gert Fouche, Joshua van Wyk all showed that while they may not have medalled or made the final they’ve all made progress at the Games. Van Heerden also notched up a national mark with his 4:32.921 which was good for 19th spot. Fouche was 21st in 4:35.783 and Van Wyk 26th with a time of 4:43.335. It was a brutal qualifying with the four men in the final all having broken the Commonwealth Games record. All the South Africans improved on their previous bests by between six and 12 seconds.
Women’s artistic, Qualification: Team South Africa’s pair of Claudia Cummins and Naveen Daries ended first and second respectively (field of 10) in the all-around scores of sub-division (one of four categories). Cummins had an all-around score of 46.025 (vault, 13.050, third in her sub-division; Uneven bars, 11.775, first; beam, 9.700, fifth; floor, 11.150, second), Naveen Daries was second in all-around with a total of 45.350 (uneven bars, 11.700, second; beam, 10.400, second; floor, 10.300, sixth). Both Cummins and Daries had falls but the good news is that both qualified for Saturday’s All-Around Finals. Cummins’ injury came on her last tumble and she was taken to hospital for further assessment on a bad knee injury. The news is not good. She has a ruptured ACL ligament and torn meniscus and will need surgery.
Pool A, Preliminary round: South Africa 46 Jamaica 57: South Africa started out fast, taking the match to their fancied opponents and an 11-8 lead was stretched to 15-10 by the end of the first quarter. Jamaica then clawed their way back into the contest, levelling things at 22-22 at half-time. SA responded well in the third quarter, stretching out to 35-29, before Jamaica finished the quarter strongly. Heading into the last 15 minutes SA led 38-37. But they were simply swept aside in the final quarter as Jamaica turned on the power and precision to blow away the South African resistance.
Men’s 200m Freestyle, Heats: Chad le Clos showed his intent by getting off the blocks quickly and leading through 175m before he was touched off by Australia’s Kyle Chambers in their heat. Le Clos timed 1:47.37, which qualified him for the final in sixth position. Just as he likes it … the ‘underdog’.
Eben Vorster, who turns 22 later this month, finished sixth in his heat in 1:50.78, which placed him 18th overall and he’ll be watching Le Clos go for gold from the stands.
Women’s 50m Freestyle, Heats: Erin Gallagher and Emma Chelius found themselves in the same heat and both got the job done. Gallagher chased home Australia’s Bronte Campbell, the South African timing 25.21, while Chelius touched in 25.62. The performances placed them fifth and eighth fastest, respectively, and qualified them for the semi-finals.
Semi-finals: Erin Gallagher finished third in her semi-final, in a time of 25.03, which placed her fifth fastest qualifier for the final. Emma Chelius was fourth in her semi in 25.89 and was involved in a swim off for a place in the final right at the end of the evening, a two-woman race. She came up against Kalia Antoniou of Cyprus.
Men’s 100m Breaststroke, Heats: Cameron van der Burgh started fast, as we have come to expect and turned in front in 27.50. He was overhauled by England’s James Wilby but timed 1:00.20, which qualified him for the semi-finals in third place behind England’s Adam Peaty.
Michael Houlie also earned a swim in the evening’s semi-finals by finishing fourth (1:01.66) in the same heat as Van der Burgh and qualified ninth fastest for the semis.
Semi-finals: Cameron van der Burgh heads into the final on Saturday following a second-place finish behind Adam Peaty in their semi-final, while Bishops matriculant Michael Houlie, sixth in the same race, produced a personal best 1:01.47. That left him in 10th spot overall and missing out on the final but the teenager was elated with his first Commonwealth Games.
Women’s 100m Backstroke, Heats: Nathania van Niekerk swam up to expectations, with an almost identical time to her entry time. She clocked 1:02.81 to place sixth in her heat but, importantly, allowed her to squeeze into the top 16 and a place in the semi-finals.
Just missing out was Mariella Venter, who produced a 1:03.79 swim, also for sixth in her heat, to leave her one position outside the semis. She won’t be happy with her performance, given she had come into the Games with a 1:01.71.
Semi-finals: Nathania van Niekerk missed out on a place in the final after finishing eighth in her semi-final in a time of 1:03.06.
Men’s 400m Individual Medley, Heats: There were only 10 entries for this demanding event, and they were split into two heats, with the fastest eight times overall qualifying for the final. Ayrton Sweeney had no problems doing just that, an impressive second (4:18.08) behind Australia’s Clyde Lewis. It was the faster of the two heats and Sweeney must fancy his medal chances.
Luan Grobbelaar just turned 16 on 16 March and is competing in his first major senior championship. He arrived in Australia with a best of 4:22.58 and although he finished at the back of a small five-man field in 4:22.77 and didn’t qualify for the finals, he will have learned enormously from the experience.
Final: Ayrton Sweeney missed out on a medal in his first major championship final, clocking 4:17.79 to finish fourth, in a race won by Australia’s Clyde Lewis in 4:13.12. Sweeney was 3.37 seconds off the bronze medal position.
Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay: Chad le Clos has earmarked a medal from Team SA in this event, but given his workload he was rested for the morning heats. Only 12 countries entered for the 4×100 and it was always on the cards that Team SA, without Le Clos, would reach the final. Which they did – thanks to Jarryd Baxter (51.00), Ryan Coetzee (50.47), Calvyn Justus (49.67) and Eben Vorster (50.36). Not much should be read into times in relay heats, but for what it’s worth Team SA clocked 3:21.50 to qualify seventh fastest overall behind Australia, a Games record 3:12.72.
Men’s 50m Butterfly Final: GOLD! Chad le Clos left the blocks last but powered to the wall first to win gold in 23.37, getting the better of Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago, while Ryan Coetzee’s fairytale Games continued withnthe bronze in 23.73, for his first Major medal.
Women’s 50m Breaststroke, Final: Tatyana Schoenmaker produced the fastest breaststroke one lap of her life to finish fourth in the final, her time of 30.82 being an African record and 0.01 sec faster than the time Penny Heyns set in Australia in 1999. Schoenmaker’s favourite event is the 200m, where she’s a real medal candidate.
Men’s 200m Freestyle, Final: Chad le Clos was back on the blocks in what seemed little more than the blink of an eye, following his 50m butterfly gold, and the ensuing medal ceremony and national anthem. He started off fast, leading the field through the 50m and halfway (100m) marks before two big finals in 20 minutes took their toll on him and he faded in the last 100m to finish seventh in 1:47.46.
Men’s 4x100m Freestyle, Final: South Africa placed sixth in a final predictably won by Australia, who were just short of their Games record of the heats. The Aussies stopped the clock in 3:12.96. Team SA timed 3:17.27. Calvin Justus started off with a 49.98, followed by Chad le Clos, who made up huge ground to take South Africa into third at halfway, with a 47.97 leg that was the second fastest of the final. Brad Tandy (49.36) and Ryan Coetzee (49.96) then brought Team SA home.
Women’s 58kg: Johanni Taljaard ended a respectable ninth in this division with a total of 171kg. The 33-year-old Western Cape athlete lifted 78 in the snatch and 93 in the clean and jerk. The competition saw 15 lifters start and the winning total was claimed by Australia’s Tia-Clair Toomey (201kg).
Summaries compiled by Gary Lemke and Mark Etheridge, on behalf of Team SA
Photo: Erin Gallagher courtesy of Anton Geyser/Gallo Images