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Swimmers fourth and hockey boys go through in China

YOG GENERIC

By Mark Etheridge
in Nanjing, China

Team South Africa’s swimmers once again came within one spot of the podium on day four of the Youth Olympic Games here on Wednesday.

Of the three events involving South Africans in evening action, the 4x100m medley relay final saw South Africa taking fourth spot in 3min 42.39sec.
That put the quartet of Jarred Crous, Josh Steyn, Christopher Reid and Brent Szurdoki +4.37sec behind winners Russia, while the third spot went to Australia who were 2.66sec adrift of gold.

The SA squad were lying second after the breaststroke leg but faded in the freestyle leg.

Crous also finished sixth in the 200m breaststroke final (2:15.52) and +4.21sec behind winner Ippei Watanabe of Japan.

Then Steyn was fifth in the 50m butterfly semi-final one with a time of 24.74, +0.79sec behind China’s Hexin Yu.

And our men’s hockey side are also still in medal contention, having booked a definite place in the quarter-finals.

Playing their penultimate pool game in the all-action five-a-side version of the code, they beat Bangladesh by the odd goal in seven. The sides swopped goal for goal before Nqobile Ntuli nailed home the winner in the 31st minute. He got three on the night and Sbongumenzi Dlungwana was the other scorer.

‘It was a weird kind of game,’ said coach Neville Rothman. ‘They were quite defensive and played on the counter for much of the time. The intensity from the guys wasn’t the same as in the Australia game because maybe we assumed we were through the quarters but now we must keep up the momentum.’

South Africa end their pool matches with a game against what looks like medal favourites Spain on Thursday night and then they’ll know who they take on in the quarter-finals.

Track and field finally got in on the action with two South Africans in action.

In the girls’ 100m hurdles, African Youth Games champion Taylon Bieldt took fifth spot in the second heat. The 15-year-old from Montana, Pretoria clocked 14.18sec, behind Belarussian winner Elvira Herman.

Said SA manager Chris White: ‘She was good over the first four hurdles but from the sixth hurdle her hamstring niggle clicked in and she faded off the pace. It’s an old injury which she had rehabilitated but we just need to manage it properly.’

Also in action was discus athlete Leandri Geel, like Bieldt, a medal-winner in Botswana. She threw 46.29 metres which was good for seventh spot behind Ukraine’s Al’Ona Byelyakova’s 50.89m and she goes straight into Saturday’s final.

Out at Fangshan Shooting range, South Africa’s lone shottist ended 16th in the qualification round of the 10m air rifle event. Sybrand Laurens had a series of 99.5, 101.3, 100.3, 99.5, 102.1 and 99.9 for a total of 602.6. Leader was China’s Haroan Yang with 629.4. Only the top eight shottists went through to the final.

In the second round of golf’s strokeplay African Youth Games champion Kyle McClatchie was 12th in the second round after a round of 73, six shots off the pace for the round but 18 shots off the pace for the competition.

‘Kyle has been playing very well but he had some bad luck near the end of his round where he dropped four shots over the last two holes,’ said manager Gavin Reynolds.

‘He may be out of contention for a medal but he’ll definitely move up in the final round tomorrow.’

If anyone should feel at home at the Zhongshan International Golf Club course it should be McClatchie and team-mate Kayleigh Telfer – the course, opened in 2011, was designed by SA golf legend Gary Player and pictures of him adorn the clubhouse.

Telfer was disqualified on Wednesday after signing for the incorrect score. ‘She shot a 78 but unfortunately signed for a 77,’ said Reynolds.

The two South Africans will also be in action in the team event later in the week.

Cycling saw Relobohile Pebane and Ivan Venter taking 27th and 13th respectively in the mountain bike XCO event.

Sailing once again saw our two competitors competing in light winds. Calvin Gibbs ended 16th and 25th in races five and six, and Megan Robertson 28th and 25th in the one-person dinghy event.

Equestrian events saw Alexa Stais and the African team ending fourth in the inter-continental event. Africa were made up of riders from SA, Senegal, Morocco, Zimbabwe and Egypt.


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