- Bezuidenhout, Smit off to flyer at Better Ball Challenge
- Thousands of women prepare for running Challenge
- SA’s team named to do Fed Cup duty in Lithuania
- Hawtrey’s passing a big loss for SA cycling
- Nienaber back with a bang, targets another Nomads title
- Seboko best of the bunch in uphill battle in Uganda
- Davids doubles up in Summer Series
- Elkington eclipses opposition at Loch Ness
- Hurdler Steenkamp winding up for a big one
- Olympic champion’s Epic win, big-hearted women’s triumph
Eight more for SA
- Updated: December 16, 2010
Athletics, tennis and netball provided another eight medals for Team South Africa as the Zone VI Games in Swaziland started winding down on Thursday, writes Mark Etheridge.
The athletes provided five medals (two of them to the visually impaired runners), tennis snatched two more and netball the other. This makes South Africa’s medal tally 89 for the Under-20 event with a whole lot more finals coming on Friday and SA look certain to break the 100-medal mark.
Track and field provided two golds in the form of Ratlale Mokone in the men’s 1500m and the women’s 4×100 metre relay while Shaun van Wyk got silver in the men’s 110m hurdles. Then visually impaired athlete Denzwill Maans added the men’s 200m T12 title to his 100m win earlier in the week as Lwandile Malawu followed him across the line for silver.
Mokone, who had stood in for long jump winner Luvo Manyonga at the medal ceremony the previous day as erratic scheduling saw Manyonga already back at the Athletes’ Village, had his real chance on the podium on Friday as he won the metric mile in 3min 56.17sec.
“It’s great to win,” said the Bloemfontein athlete, “but I’ve still got the 4x400m relay tomorrow to think about.” Mokone’s best is a 3:43 that he ran at this year’s national championships.
Van Wyk, the 400m hurdles silver medallist on Wednesday, ran his first 110m hurdles for close on a year, to get silver in 15.17. Then the women’s 4x100m team lead from just about start to finish to take gold in 47.54. Justine Palframan, Juan-Marie Senekal, Melissa Hewitt and Sonja van der Merwe were the golden quartet.
Netball saw the women’s team lose the gold medal by just one point, going down 35-34 to archrivals Malawi at the OlymAfrica venue on yet another day of persistent rain. Still, they improved on their round-robin game against the Malawians where they lost by nine points and An├® Botha had the consolation of being named best wing attacker of the tournament.
In tennis the all-conquering SA players added the doubles title to their singles clean-sweep. Eden D’Oliveira and Welma Luus beat Mozambique to take the gold medal while Stefan Fortmann and Michal Lyzwa combined to beat Zambia in the men’s final.
In other codes our men’s soccer side went down 1-0 to host nation Swaziland, with the South Africans seemingly content to play defensively in midfield rather than go for the jugular.
Then in basketball our women’s line-up accounted for Botswana 94-25.
South Africa had started the day with 81 medals, with the addition of three more medals coming late in the day on Wednesday.
These were the two bronzes from the boxing ring where Saul Hlungwane lost to his Mozambican opponent in the 49kg division and where Randfontein’s Francisco Rodrigues impressed many a pundit with his durability in going down 6-15 to a Botswana opponent in the 75kg category.
There’ll definitely be two more medals in the boxing category as Edward Kokame (54kg) and William Bankisi (64kg) are both through to Friday’s finals.
In visually impaired athletics, Dewaldt Minaar had netted gold in the men’s 800m, clocking 2min 14sec.
The Games wrap on Saturday with the men’s soccer finals and the closing ceremony.