At the time of writing, Team South Africa moved from fourth to fifth on the medal table at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast of Australia.
On Thursday, 12 April 2018 we saw our wrestling‚ mountain biking and lawn bowls raking in podium finishes. Wrestler Johannes Botha was the first on the map as he qualified for the final against India’s Kumar Sushil‚ where Botha claimed silver. Friday saw wrestler Martin Erasmus wins the men’s 97kg wrestling gold medal, dominating India’s Mausam Khatri to win 12-2. Colleen Piketh and Nicolene Neal stole through to the women’s lawns gold medal match on Friday, after coming back from the dead against England in the quarterfinal and Scotland in the semifinal. Mountain biker Alan Hatherly took bronze, curbing an all-New Zealand finish on the podium.
The disabled men’s triple took bronze after beating England 16-13. RSA and UK had played to a 13-13 tie in their round-robin tie earlier in the game with South Africans winning in the end. A three-pointer on the 12th end to move the margin to 15-11 was critical‚ and even then‚ there were anxious moments on the final delivery when the English skip missed an opportunity to clinch the game‚ but was unable to trail the jack.
The women’s pair were 0-4 and 3-7 down against Scotland in the semifinal‚ but a magnificent drive by Piketh‚ who won the pair’s gold at Glasgow 2014‚ saw the South Africans take five on the 13th end to move 14-9 up‚ and they never looked back after that.
This year’s Commonwealth Games saw Caster Semenya break the 1500m race in a blistering time of 4:00.71. Semenya also broke legendary athlete Zola Budd’s 34-year-old South African record set in 1984!
All in all, Team South Africa came back with 37 medals in total. You made us proud!
By Shawn Greyling