Gold, silver in javelin | SASCOC - SASCOC

Gold, silver in javelin

By Mark Etheridge
in Maputo

The 10th All African Games are starting to wind down here but it was our two women javeliners who wound themselves up for gold and silver on Tuesday.

Justine Robbeson and Gerlize de Klerk wrapped up their competition without any undue difficulty and despite these being the only two medals for Team South Africa on the day, it’s unlikely they will be caught by any other nation. The medal count now stands at 129 (58 gold, 38 silver and 33 bronze).

That’s because our men’s soccer team are into the final so are guaranteed another medal while the women’s side, despite going down 2-0 to Cameroon, have a chance at a bronze in the play-offs.

The men’s side drew 0-0 with Senegal at the Campo do Maxaquene and went on to win 6-5 on penalties. Thamsanqa Sangweni netted the decisive penalty while goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo did his bit by keeping a Senegalese spotkick out.

Back to the medal-winnners though and Robbeson opened with a 49.72 and nailed the winner with her third effort pegging at 55.13 metres. Fellow Potchefstroom athlete (are any of our javelin aces not from Potchefstroom?) Gerlize de Klerk had her best effort of the evening with her fifth throw, 52.27 which was good for silver.

Said Robbeson, defending All Africa Games champion, afterwards: “The windy was tricky tonight, whichever angle you threw the javelin just seemed to die. The music they were playing over the PA was hardly inspirational but as the competition went on I was getting into a good throwing mood.”

It was at the same stadium here that she qualified for World Championships when she threw a season’s bet 61.26 at Southern Region championhips earlier this year.

“I guess my performance was mediocre in the broader scheme but I didn’t need anymore tonight. Thank goodness Sunette [Viljoen, world championships bronze medallist] didn’t come and throw, she would have wiped the floor with us tonight.

“Now I need to have a bit of a break. My shoulders has been bugging me since before World Student Games and I must give it a chance to recover.”

Earlier the women’s soccer side had given it their all but never looked like beating a tough Cameroon outfit. Explained coach Bongani Yengwa: “We held them well until the 35th minute when they scored but they had pretty much their strongest team and obviously the bulk of our team were away in Ethiopia helping us qualify for next year’s Olympics. But still, we’re looking forward to the bronze medal play-off against either Algeria or Ghana and are confident we can beat either of those sides.”

Other victorious SA teams on Tuesday were the men’s and women’s beach volleyball teams who are now through to the finals and our two tennis aces, Chanel Simmonds and Natasha Fourouclas are thundering towards medals. Simmonds, 19, had a 6-3 6-2 win and Fouroclas 6-2 6-0 win and there was still time for them to team up in the doubles category where they went through 6-2 and 6-0 to reach the Last Eight stage in all three categories.

It was once again bad news for our netballers who have now had a horror run of three losses on the trot. On Tuesday they went down to Kenya 47-51 but the problem with the officiating gets worse and worse.

Said coach Reg Sharp: “I have no problem with losing but it’s the way we’re losing. No matter what we do we are getting penalised. I have to take my hat off to our senior players (many of whom are B-grade referees themselves and know the rules backwards) for keeping their cool.” The team’s final round robin match is against Tanzania on Wednesday.

The table tennis team leave for home on Wednesday without having won a medal and now certain to have no representation in next year’s Olympics but having gained valuable experience here.

Wednesday sees world junior long jump champion Luvo Manyonga in action in a straight final ÔÇô qualifying was scrapped in place of a final while veteran hammer thrower Chris Harmse is also scheduled to compete.

Our taekwondo team of four and three judoka have also arrived and by all accounts there’s a chance of more medals in this code. The beach volleyballers get Wednesday’s action underway with the men playing Angola and the women playing Mauritius.

The Games wrap up on Saturday with only the opening ceremony scheduled for Sunday.