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Gold for Grant, Freedom

By Mark Etheridge
in Maputo

Our beach volleyballers boosted Team South Africa’s medal tally by gold and silver at the 10th All Africa Games here in Mozambique on Wednesday.

The men brushed Angola aside by two sets to nil (21-9 21-16) while the women went down to Mauritius, also in two sets, 21-13 21-11.

The latest medals boosted the total count to 131, made up of 59 gold, 39 silver and 33 bronze.

Said Grant Goldschmidt, one half of the victorious men’s side (along with Freedom Chiya): “We were really on top of our game today, no-one was going to get that tile from us.”

“It’s great to win the All Africa Games title and be crowned as the best in Africa. Now we have to concentrate on our Olympic qualification for next year. There are five qualifiers in total and we have two to go. One is in Togo next month and the final event’s venue still has to be decided,” said Goldschmidt who hails from Mitchell’s Plain in Cape Town. Chiya is also based in Cape Town, Rondebosch to be exact.

The men only lost one set in their five matches to hosts Mozambique. They had a first round bye, then beat Mozambique, Nigeria and then Ghana in the semi-final before Wednesday’s win.

In other morning action, our women’s netball side wrapped up their campaign, sadly with another loss.

They went down 29-32 to Tanzania, meaning they lost their four last pool matches. “But it was a lot better going,” said coach Reg Clark. “For the first time we came back strongly in the third and fourth quarters. Until now we’ve started well and then faded.”

South Africa are no longer in the medal-hunt in netball. “There are only about four games left now and Uganda should win gold easily,” said Sharp. “I think we’re looking at finishing about fifth or sixth on the log.”

Meanwhile our women’s soccer side, who lost 2-0 to Cameroon on Tuesday, will now meet Algeria in the third-fourth place play-off for the bronze medal. That after Ghana had crushed Algeria 3-0 in Wednesday’s semi-final.

The netballers now head home, leaving about 10 track and field athletes still to compete, along with chess, basketball (they play Mali in their final match on Thursday), men’s football (in the final on Saturday, opponents still to be decided), judo, taekwondo and tennis (top seed Chanel Simmonds is the semi-finals after her opponent defaulted on Wednesday).


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