Golden duo boost SA's Games success
South Africa’s golden duo of high-jump queen Anika Smit and 400m hurdles sensation LJ van Zyl spearheaded Team South Africa’s seven-medal haul at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne on Thursday.
South Africa’s medal success on the eighth day of the 10-day event saw the country regain fifth spot on the medals table with 11 gold, eight silver and 11 bronze medals.
While Smit (19) equalled her career-best height of 1,91m to climb to the top of the medal podium, Van Zyl and teammate Alwyn Myburgh dominted the men’s 400m hurdle race, taking gold and silver in 48,05 seconds and 48,23 seconds respectively.
In the women’s 200m race, Stellenbosch-based Geraldine Pillay collected bronze in 22,92 seconds to add to her silver medal won in the 100m final earlier in the week. David Roos, competing in the elite athletes with disabilities (EAD) T46 category race over 200m, won a silver medal in 23,12 seconds.
Byron Swanton followed up on his sister Diane’s shooting gold medal two days earlier to pick up the silver medal in the double trap shooting competition. Esmarie van Reenen’s silver medal from the morning’s women’s 50m rifle three finals allowed the shooting contingent to finish its campaign with five medals.
Two boxing gold medals could be garnered as flyweight Jackson Chauke and welterweight Bongani Mwelase booked their places in the finals of their weight divisions with respective points victories.
Chauke showed great character and commitment to outscore Uganda’s Martin Mubiru 24-22, while Mwelase was in complete control before the referee stopped his fight against Nigeria’s Olufemi Ajayi in the third round.
In lawn bowls, Lorna Trigwell played consistently to record a 2-1 win over Swaziland’s Elizabeth James, but Gerry Baker’s singles run came to an end as he went down in a tie-break play-off against England’s Stephen Farish in a quarterfinal encounter.—Sapa