Team South Africa will bid farewell to Tokyo after claiming three medals at the Olympic Games. This comes from breaststroker Tatjana Schoenmaker and surfer Bianca Buitendag.
Schoenmaker not only set a new Olympic world record, but won the country’s first gold medal as she dominated the women’s 200m breaststroke final on Friday, July 30. The 24-year-old rewrote history as she became the first South African female swimmer to bag gold since Penny Heyns at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
This comes after the swimming sensation also bagged silver in the women’s 100m breaststroke on Tuesday, July 27.
Buitendag who hails from Victoria Bay in the Western Cape won silver in the women’s surfing event in Tokyo on Tuesday, July 27. This is the first time the sport was included in the Olympics.
According to Sport24, even though South Africa only won three medals, they suffered a bigger loss at Beijing 2008 after only claiming a silver medal through long-jumper Khotso Mokoena.
Meanwhile, 29-year-old sprinter, Anaso Jobodwana, was selected as the flag bearer for the closing ceremony at the Games and described this to TeamSA as an “honour.”
He went on to say that “It’s always an honour just to wear the colours of South Africa, so being selected to carry the flag at the closing ceremony of an Olympic Games is an honour that I never thought would happen to me… I feel that the closing ceremony is a significant moment in that it will celebrate how the human spirit can triumph over adversity.”
TeamSA adds that at Tokyo 2020, Jobodwana reached the semi-finals. That makes him a three-time Olympian after making his debut at London 2012 where he reached the final, before tackling Rio 2016.
Have a look at SA’s Olympic medals by year, as outlined by Sport24:
Barcelona 1992 – 2 (2 silver)
Atlanta 1996 – 5 (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
Sydney 2000 – 5 (2 silver, 3 bronze)
Athens 2004 – 6 (1 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze)
Beijing 2008 – 1 (1 silver)
London 2012 – 6 (4 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
Rio 2016 – 10 (2 gold, 6 silver, 2 bronze)
This places South Africa in 52nd position according to the medal count which you can access over here.
We’re so grateful for Mr Lulama Ngonyama and the RSA Embassy for Japan for their warm hospitality during our stay at #Tokyo2020
A big thank you from everyone at Team SA 🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/oTp3ResJHF
— Team South Africa (@TeamSA2020) August 8, 2021
Picture: Twitter / @_ambitious_jay