SASCOC congratulate Hartley on her bronze medal
Olympic governing body SASCOC celebrated Team South Africa’s fifth 2012 Olympics medal on Thursday as Bridgitte Hartley won bronze in the women’s K1 canoe sprint in London.
Hartley’s heroic fight for the bronze was extremely fitting as it came as South Africa celebrated the public holiday of Women’s Day on August 9.
The KwaZulu-Natal canoeist’s medal comes after our swimmers (Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos) won three medals between them (two gold and one silver) and the rowers followed up with a gold in the men’s lightweight fours.
This is South Africa’s first canoeing medal since re-admission to international sport in Barcelona, 1992.
“It’s incredible,” said a beaming SASCOC Chief Executive Officer Mr Tubby Reddy. “Coming on national Women’s Day it makes it even more satisfying and her result is sure to cause a huge upswelling of pride amongst South African women the world over.
“Later on Women’s Day we have Caster Semenya (800m semi-finals) and Sunette Vijloen (javelin final) competing and here’s hoping that Bridgitte’s bronze can inspire them to go all the way.”
South Africa have now long erased the last Games in Beijing where they won just one medal, Khotso Mokoena’s silver in the long jump, from the memory banks.
The last time they won three gold medals at the Olympics was in 1996 when Penny Heyns swam her way to double gold in the breaststroke events and Josiah Thugwane won the men’s marathon.
Their medal haul equals that of Sydney 2000 but in terms of gold, these Games overtake them in terms of significance and medal rankings. Since re-admission our highest medal tally was Athens in 2004 when South Africa won six medals.