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Student Games medals for SA in 800m, long jump and 21.1km
- Updated: July 12, 2015
By Mark Etheridge
Rynardt van Rensburg raced to South Africa’s fifth medal at the World Student Games in Gwangju, South Korea on Sunday.
The Free State athlete took bronze in the 800-metres to add to the track gold medals won by Akani Simbine (100m) and Justine Palframan (400m) earlier in the week.
Van Rensburg took the field through halfway in a tactical 54.44sec and held on for third as America’s Shaquille Walker won in 1min 49.05sec from Morocco’s Abdelati El Guisse (1:49.29). Van Rensburg clocked 1:49.30 for his medal, missing silver by an agonising 0.01sec and he’ll be buoyed by his bronze, despite being some way off his new personal best of 1:45.40 set in Europe recently.
Earlier in the day the men’s half-marathoners had secured bronze in the 21.1km road race Thabang Masihlelo was first South African in eighth place (1:07:11), followed by defending champion Gladwin Mzazi (15th in 1:09:26), Mariano Esou (18th in 1:09:51) and Zolani Ngqaqa (28th in 1:12:04).
A second bronze of the day came from Roelf Pienaar with a 7.98m second leap in the men’s long jump.
Reflecting on his race, Van Rensburg said: ‘It was clear that they just wanted to beat me and went right behind me after the first 100m. I was leading clearly so made a decision to stay in front.
‘The wind was very bad and the last 100m proved to me that it wasn’t the right decision. They just sat behind me and waited for the kick, I thought I’d be able to respond but I couldn’t.’
He told Road to Rio 2016: ‘I still I feel that walking away with a medal you can’t be unhappy. I take this not as a race lost but as a lesson. I gave my best and decided to run aggressively as I mostly do. I gained a lot of experience and realise now that running a championship race is not the same as running a good time.’
The relay events were disappointing for South Africa. The women failed to make the 4x100m final and then there were disqualifications for the men’s 4×100 and 4x400m.
The women’s 4×400 took sixth in 3:46.73 as Poland won in 3:31.98.
In the men’s 4x400m it had been a promising start as SA lead the first lap with a 46.24 but were later disqualified under IAAF Rule 163.3 (breaking the line).
The women’s footballers ended their tournament, going out to Ireland on penalties in their 13-14th place play-off.
That after the two sides had been locked 3-3 after regulation play.
SA led 1-0 at halftime through Sduduzo Dlamini’s 39th minute goal.
They doubled their lead in the 58th minute through Refiloe Jane before Ireland got one back in the 64th. Jane then added a second in the 79th to see them leading 3-1 but two late goals by Roseanne Maguire and Emma Hansberry, the latter in the 93rd minute dashed SA hopes of their first victory in the tournament.
That sent the match into penalties and the big difference was that Ireland slotted home all their penalties while Maditaba Thato and Nonkosi Twayise failed to get past the Irish keeper from the spot.