Team South Africa continued to pull out all the stops at the Tokyo Olympics as they engaged in nail-biting action to claim a few awesome victories while suffering a few disappointments as well.
Here are some of the highlights you might have missed out on as outlined by Team SA:
- Tatjana Schoenmaker continued her winning streak to qualify fastest for the final of the women’s 100m breaststroke.
- Bianca Buitendag advanced to the women’s surfing quarter-finals after knocking out the Australian seven-time world champion.
- In the men’s triathlon, 2016 Rio bronze medallist Henri Schoeman withdrew during the 10km run on account of an injury.
- The men’s Sevens rugby team beat Ireland and Kenya (double whammy!)
- Alan Hatherly finished 8th in the men’s MTB cross-country.
Men’s Mountain Bike, Cross-Country final: Team SA’s Alan Hatherly claimed the eighth spot after being as far back as 25th on the start loop. He then moved his way up to seventh over the seven-lap course before falling back to eighth again and remaining in that position. Hatherly clocked 1:26:33.
Women’s Pool A: South Africa 1 Great Britain 4: South Africa came out of the blocks early with Nicole Walraven netting early from a penalty corner in the sixth minute. However, Great Britain came back with a vengeance to secure goals in the 13th, 39th, 40th and 50th minute to claim victory.
Men’s Pool C: South Africa 33 Ireland 14: The South Africans ran in four tries through Zain Davids, Impi Visser, Justin Geduld, Chris Dry and Stedman Gans. The lead was 14-7 at half time.
Men’s Pool C: South Africa 14 Kenya 5: South Africa won their opening match against Ireland while Kenya was defeated by the USA. This was an important game to win for SA to lock in two first half tries by Branco du Preez and Siviwe Soyizwapi converted by Branco du Preez. The score was 14-5 at half-time.
Women’s heats, Round 3: Bianca Buitendag knocked out seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore of Australia to advance to the quarter-finals where she will face Portugal’s Yolanda Hopkins. She scored 7.10 on her first wave and 6.83 on her second wave for a total of 13.93 to beat Gilmore who scored 6.17 and 3.83 for 10.00.
Women’s 100m breaststroke, semi-final 2: Tatjana Schoenmaker was on fire and led from start to finish to beat Olympic champion Lilly King, who had been undefeated in the event since 2015. The South African clocked 1:05.07. Schoenmaker went through halfway in 30.48sec and held onto her lead.
Men’s 200m Butterfly, Heats: Chad le Clos went off in the final heat, along with Ethan du Preez, in lane eight. Le Clos looked comfortable for half of the race but when Kristof Milak of Hungary piled on the pressure he seemed to tie up. Le Clos finished his heat in 5th place on Monday with a time of 1:55.96, coming in at 16th overall for the last semi-final spot. Du Preez finished 8th overall in 1:58.50 and will not feature in the semis.
Women’s 200m IM, Heats: Rebecca Meder finished 7th in her 200m IM heat in 2:14.79 in her first Olympics. That placed her 23rd quickest overall and she missed out on a spot in the semis.
Men’s Individual, final: Henri Schoeman didn’t finish after having gone into the race with knee and ankle injuries. “I can’t push off the foot and haven’t been able to run on the road for three weeks,” he told Team SA before the race. Schoeman had completed the 1500m swim and 40km cycling in the leading group, ready to tackle the 10km run transition. On the run, the pain intensified and he was forced to withdraw with two laps (5km) remaining.
Picture: Unsplash / @erikzunder