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Van Tonder leaps to gold medal in Samoa
- Updated: September 8, 2015
Team South Africa added a further seven medals on Tuesday to the seven they won on Monday to boost their tally to 14 at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Apia, Samoa.
Renate van Tonder picked up athletics’ fourth medal of the championships with gold in the long jump, 6.26m winning the competition. It was a remarkable show of excellence by Van Tonder who improved her personal best with each jump.
The women’s long jump was the only athletics final on the programme but there were healthy signs coming out of the heats, giving hope for what lies ahead. In the men’s 200m heats, both Kyle Appel and Monday’s gold medallist in the 100m, Tlotliso Leotelo, won their respective heats to qualify for the semi-finals. Taylon Bieldt stamped herself as favourite for Wednesday’s 100m women’s hurdles final with a fastest qualifying time in the heats.
As one has come to expect, swimming weighed in with another bagful of medals, with six on the day and 10 overall from the first two days of competition.
The breakdown of the six included one gold, two silver and three bronzes.
Hero of the evening was Zane Waddell, who is enjoying an excellent championships. His gold medal in the men’s 50m backstroke took his collection so far to three medals two individual and a team bronze.
He received plenty back-up support in the form of Erin Gallagher, who added the women’s 100m freestyle gold to her silver from the opening night.
Elsewhere there were podiums for Kaylene Corbett, who claimed silver in the women’s 100m breaststroke, James Isemonger with bronze in the 100m breaststroke and Neil Fair, who collected bronze in the 400 individual medley.
And for good measure the 4x200m freestyle relay team, comprising Fair, Waddell, James Isemonger and Brendan Levy, claimed a bronze.
Apart from the medal-winning performances in track and field and the pool, there were mixed successes for Team SA’s other codes in action.
Aimee Schnetler won her final lawn bowls match against England 21-17, although her defeats on Monday meant neither she nor bowling partner Rowan Watkins qualified for the semi-finals. There is still hope however, given they play in the mixed pairs, starting Wednesday.
On the tennis court, Damon Kesaris overcome a strong challenge from Tonga to win 6-3, 6-2, with the scoreline not quite telling the story of a match that was more competitive than the result suggests.
Kesaris is comfortably through to the quarter-finals, where he is joined by teammate Zani Barnard. While both may have qualified for the quarter-finals, they were not so fortunate in their mixed match against Scotland on Tuesday evening, going down 6-2, 6-4.
Middleweight boxer Cedric Nyawo (75kg) was comprehensively beaten on a first round TKO, which meant that neither one of Team SA’s boxers progressed any further in the competition.
Wednesday brings plenty of hope with the athletics programme wrapping up and with live chances in shot-put, the 200m final and 100m hurdles. As athletics makes its way out of Apia Park by mid afternoon, the stadium will welcome in the rugby sevens and Team SA sevens play their first game at 5.30pm (local time) against Singapore.