Two more medals came Team South Africa’s way on Sunday, taking their total to nine at these Commonwealth Games. Take a look at how everyone in action fared.
Men’s 20km walk: It was an early morning start for Team South Africa’s Games campaign in this code and it didn’t quite get off on the right foot as Lebogang Shange and Wayne Snyman ended ninth and 14th respectively in the race-walking along the Southport coast line. Shange, especially, would have been quietly fancying his chances of standing on the podium but his time of 1hr 23min 27sec was 3min 53sec down on gold medal winner Dane Bird-Smith. The Aussie, who often links up with Shange for training camps, clocked 1:19:34 for a Games record. Snyman clocked 1:28:09. Shange was up in sixth position just after halfway but slipped back in the second half. He was in the early lead bunch but couldn’t move up from 14th from the halfway mark.
Men’s hammer: Tshepang Makhethe was competing at his first Commonwealth Games and the 22-year-old missed out on the top eight, his 67.99m in front of a close-to-full Carrara stadium putting him ninth as England’s Nick Miller won in a Games record 80.26. Makhethe had earlier opened with a 67.05m efforts. ‘It just wasn’t my day,’ he said. ‘I felt good in the warm-ups but I couldn’t nail the big one. I was aiming for around a 7om to make the top eight cut.
Men’s 100m, Round One: As expected, Akani Simbine sauntered into the semi-finals of the blue riband sprint event. Going off in heat three, he was the only one of seven athletes to have a sub-10sec season’s best, his 9.94sec a full 0.24sec quicker than the next best. He won at a canter, clocking 10.21. ‘I’m happy to just go through nice and comfortably.’ Is the track fast? ‘Let’s find out in the semi-final, I just wanted to do enough and keep the body healthy and comfortable.’ Henricho Bruintjies was off in heat six and his time was just a tad slower than Simbine, as he hit the line in 10.23 to join Simbine in the next round (first two finishers in each heat qualified automatically). ‘It’s great running in front of such a big crowd for afternoon heats. My aim was just to get out of the blocks quickly because quite a few of those guys have very quick starts. So I got out quick and then the last 30m or so was cruise control.’
Women’s T38 long jump: These were Juanelie Meijer’s second Commonwealth Games and she improved in terms of both position and distance. In Glasgow, Scotland four years ago she was fifth with a leap of 4.06m. She has a personal best of 4.40 and on Sunday she ended fourth in front of a packed crowd down the back straight of the Carrara Stadium. Her opening jump of 4.19m proved to be her best of the day. ‘My mom had a dream that I’d get a medal with my last jump but that didn’t happen,’ she smiled. ‘But I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. It’s been amazing experience and I’ve had the time of my life. My first jump wasn’t too bad and my second was just a centimetre shorter but then I started stepping over and went back too far. I must say that being part of the main athletics programme is wonderful and it’s great to be included. We only really get to jump twice a year at worlds and nationals so this was another priceless opportunity.’
Men’s shot put qualifying: Orazio Cremona did what he came to do, which was to ensure his spot in the final. He needed just one hefty heave of 19.24m which put him through as fifth best thrower in his qualification group. Up ahead though, it was New Zealand’s Thomas Walsh who didn’t hold much back with a Commonwealth record of 22.45. Impressive stuff!
Men’s 100m semi-final: Speedsters Bruintjies and Simbine did just enough to book their places in Monday’s final. Both finished second in their respective semi-finals. Bruintjies clocked 10.26 and Simbine 10.12. They went through automatically by virtue of the fact that were in the top two of their race.
Mixed M2/B3 Pairs, Section A, Round 4: Princess Schroeder and Philippus Walker (directors: Graham Ward and Johanna van Rooyen beat England 19-8
Women’s Fours, Semi-final: South Africa (Elma Davis, Esme Kruger, Nicolene Neal, Johanna Strydom) got the better of Malta, winning 14-8. The SA crew got their noses in front at the fifth end and were never headed again as they steadily added to their score.
Women’s singles, Semi-final: Colleen Piketh went down 21-17 to Jo Edwards of New Zealand. It was a titanic struggle which went down to the wire. Piketh was on the back foot for much of the clash, trailing by as many as four shots on occasions. But the SA player is a fighter and pulled back to square matters at 15-15 on the 19th. She then edged ahead and on the 21st she led by two shots (17-15). But that was where her challenge ended as Piketh added six more scores to wrap things up. Piketh will now play Canada’s Kelly McKerihen in the bronze medal play-off later on Sunday.
Women’s singles, Bronze medal match: Piketh picked up South Africa’s fourth bronze medal of these Games when she beat McKerihen 21-17. Just like her semi-final Piketh had to come from behind, 5-0 down after two ends. It got worse and she was 4-11 down after six! She then clawed her way to 11-11 and took the lead for the first time on the 15th end. All square on the 18th at 17-17 Piketh then powered her way to glory!
Open Triples B6/B7/B8, Section A, Round Four: South Africa’s Patton, Botha and Viljoen downed New Zealand 19-11.
Men’s 64kg, Round of 16: After compatriot Siyabula Mphongoshi has lost his opening bout on Friday, Sinethemba Blom put things back on track with a win against Guyana’s Colin Lewis. Fighting out of the blue corner, 25-year-old Blom won 4-1. Of the five judges only Algeria thought that Blom hadn’t done enough for the win. He’ll now take on Ghana’s Jessie Lartey in Tuesday’s quarter-final.
Men’s 40km points race, Qualifying round, Heat One: David Maree ended 10th with a score of 5 and was one of 12 qualifiers for the evening final. Winner of the 16-strong heat was England’s Ethan Hayter.
Men’s 40km points race, Qualifying round, Heat Two: Steven van Heerden and Nolan Hoffman joined compatriot Maree in the final when they finished sixth and eighth respectively. They returned points tallies of 23 and 12 as England’s Oliver Wood took race honours.
Men’s 40km points race, Final: Steve van Heerden was South Africa’s only finisher in the final, ending 18th in a race which saw fellow South Africans Nolan Hoffman and David Maree posting DNF’s (Did not Finish) behind their names.
Men’s Pool A: South Africa vs New Zealand: The young South African side were on the receiving end of another whitewash, their second in two days. On Saturday they lost 4-0 to Australia and on Sunday they went down to the Aussies’ neighbours New Zealand – and this time it was 6-0. They were down 1-0 as early as the fourth minute but effectively the game was over in the space of three minutes when the Kiwis rifled in three goals in the 25th, 26th and 27th minutes. There was no coming back for coach Mark Hopkins’ men as they conceded another two goals in the 50th and 53rd minute.
Preliminary round, Pool A: South Africa went down to 60-38 to world champions Australia. After a bright start they were down 9-16 after the first quarter and a tight second quarter saw the Aussies only increasing their winning margin by two. But the relentless pressure told and the Diamonds scored 15 goals in both the third and fourth quarter with SA managing eight and nine respectively. Ine-Marie Venter was the Proteas top scorer with 33 goals.
Men’s 10m air rifle, qualification: Neither of the team’s two shottists were able to progress to the evening’s final. Barto Pienaar was best of the two in the 18-strong field, shooting a score of 612.7 and placing 11th, just 2.4 points away from making the final which features eight shooters. Compatriot Pierre Basson was 15th with a return of 604.7.
Men’s 100m Freestyle, Final: SILVER! Chad le Clos added the 100m freestyle silver mkedal to the two butterfly golds he has already won with a heroic attempt. Le Clos recorded a personal best 48.15, but was just touched off by Scotland’s Duncan Scott, who came past the South African in the final two strokes to the wall, touching first in 48.02. ‘I wish we could do it all again … get in the pool and race again,’ said Le Clos.
Men’s 50m Breaststroke, Heats: Cameron van der Burgh, who won bronze in the 100m the previous evening, was impressive in winning his heat in 27.01, a time that placed him second behind Adam Peaty going into the semi-final. Joining him in the semis are Michael Houlie, the Bishops matriculant, who finished fourth in his heat in 27.92 for seventh overall, while Brad Tandy, who finished fourth in his heat in 28.17 for 11th overall.
Semi-final: Van der Burgh, Houlier and Tandy all booked their places in Monday night’s final. Van der Burgh continued to show that he’s a force to be reckoned with at this level, despite being the ‘senior statesman’ and his 26.95 was only bettered by England star Adam Peaty. Michael Houlie produced the race of his short career by qualifying fifth fastest in 27.64 and Brad Tandy snuck in with a 27.99 that gave him the eighth place.
Men’s 100m Butterfly, Heats: Chad le Clos needs the 100m title to complete a clean sweep of the butterfly events at these Games and he took it easy in the morning qualifying, finishing second in 53.67 in his heat behind Sean Campsie. That was the fifth fastest of the morning. In the same heat as Le Clos, Eben Vorster finished fifth in 55.11 for 15th overall, while in the following heat Ryan Coetzee, the 50m bronze medallist, finished sixth in 55.03, which placed him 14th overall. All three went through to the evening’s semi-finals.
Semi-finals: It will be left to Le Clos to fly the South African flag in the final after Ryan Coetzee (54.17 for 12th and Eben Vorster, 54.75 for 14th) were unable to reach the elite eight. Le Clos, the defending champion looking to compete a clean sweep of butterfly golds, looked comfortable in finishing second to James Guy in 52.56, which made him fourth quickest overall.
Women’s 100m Freestyle, Heats: Erin Gallagher is having a good Games and her form continued when she easily qualified for the semi-finals, finishing third in her heat in 55.36. That was enough to leave her ninth fastest. Also comfortably in the last 16 was Emma Chelius, who showed up well early before finishing fifth in the quickest heat of the morning, her 56.04 seeing her go through to the semi-finals in 12th.
Semi-final: Gallagher broke Karin Prinsloo’s African and South African record that had stood since 2014 with a superb 54.38 in her semi-final which saw her qualify for Monday night’s final in seventh place overall. Chelius produced a 56.40 in her semi-final to miss out on a final, placing 14th overall.
Women’s 100m Breaststroke, Heats: All three South Africans entered progressed to the semi-finals, with Emily Visagie squeezing in at 16th after a 1:10.65. Kaylene Corbett finished fifth in her heat in 1:09.40, for 10th overall but all eyes were on 200m gold medallist Tatjana Schoenmaker. The 20-year-old, also fourth in the 50m final, was fourth in her heat at the turn but powered down the lane in the final 50m to touch the wall first in a fast 1:07.69. That left her second fastest of the morning behind Georgia Bohl (1:07.40).
Semi-final: Schoenmaker set herself up as the gold medal favourite to add to her 200m gold when she destroyed a quality field in the semi-finals. Her 1:06.65 was a personal best by a long way and only 0.13 seconds off Penny Heyns’ African record that has stood since 1999. Kaylene Corbett produced a 1:09.36 which placed her 13th overall and Emily Visagie’s 1:10.80 left her 15th on the overall results sheet.
Women’s 200m Backstroke, Heats: Both Nathania van Niekerk and Mariella Venter were in the water early. Both placed fourth in their races, with Van Niekerk timing 2:16.07, before Venter went quicker than that with a 2:14.82. That left them 11th and 10th overall, missing out on a place in the final.
Women’s 200m IM, Heats: Team SA had two swimmers in action, Emily Visagie and Marlies Ross across the two heats with the fastest eight going through to the final. Both were in the second heat and Visagie finished sixth in 2:18.27 and Ross seventh in 2:19.67. That left them 11th and 13th overall and missing out on the final.
Women’s 800m Freestyle, Heats: There were nine swimmers spread over two heats and Kate Beavon (8:49.16) qualified for the final, in eighth position, but Kristin Bellingan (9:02.88) was the unlucky one who missed out.
Women’s 50m butterfly, Final: Erin Gallagher did well to make the final where she ended eighth in 26.84m as Cate Campbell made it an Australian 1-2-3.
Women’s 69kg final: She wasn’t able to add a second medal for this code after Mona Pretorius got bronze on Saturday but Celestie Engelbrecht gave a good account of herself. Orignally from Ermelo, but now living in Johannesburg and having celebrated her 30th birthday just last month, she ended seventh of 13 lifters, with a total of 193kg – 83 in the snatch and 110kg in the clean and jerk. India’s Punam Yadav dominated with a gold-medal winning total of 222kg.
– At the end of day, Team South Africa are seventh on the medals table with nine medals (four gold, one silver and three bronze)
Compiled by Gary Lemke and Mark Etheridge
Photo: Piketh celebrates winning singles bronze, picture by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images