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How Team SA fared on Thursday
- Updated: August 11, 2016
There were six different codes represented by Team South Africa on Thursday. South Africa picked up their third medal of the Games when Lawrence Brittain and Shaun Keeling won silver in the Men’s Pair final. Rowing also qualified another four boats for the rowing finals on a strong morning. The Sevens lost their semi-final 7-5 to Great Britain but won the bronze medal, beating Japan 54-14 and giving Team SA a fourth medal, two less than London 2012 but with a long time to go in these Games.
Men’s Pair final: Lawrence Brittain and Shaun Keeling finished second to win the silver medal.
In a nutshell: Eric Murray and Hamish Bond haven’t been beaten in nine years and the New Zealanders are one of the dominant acts in sport. But they were pushed hard in the last 200m as South Africa’s Brittain and Keeling threw everything at them and were closing fast at the line. Brittain and Keeling had made a fast start from lane one and led through 500m, after which New Zealand made their move and came to the front, taking a lead they never relinquished. Behind them South Africa, Great Britain and Italy were going stroke for stroke, trading places. At halfway South Africa were fourth and out of the medals but they put the hammer down in the last 500m and surged home powerfully. South Africa was winning their third Olympic medal in rowing, and now has a collection of gold, silver and bronze in the sport. GL
How they finished: Gold New Zealand 6:59.71 Silver South Africa 7:02 51 Bronze Italy 7:04.52
Women’s Pair: Lee-Ann Persse and Kate Christowitz qualified for the final by finishing third in their semi in 7min 24.03sec.
In a nutshell: As expected, the South Africans found Great Britain and the United States a little too hot by the end of the 2 000m but finished a strong third of the six boats to reach the final. Persse and Christowitz were never out of the first three and in fact were chasing the GBR boat right from the start before the USA upped the tempo inside the last 500m to move into second in the quicker of the two semis. Persse and Christowitz however qualified third fastest for the final and have a real medal opportunity.
Fastest qualifiers: 1 Great Britain 7:18.69, 2 United States 7:20.93, 3 South Africa 7:24.03, 4 Denmark 7:27.56 GL
Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls: Kirsten McCann and Ursula Grobler won their semi-final in 7:19.09 to qualify for the final.
In a nutshell: McCann and Grobler reached the semis by virtue of winning their heat and China and New Zealand had looked to be their toughest semi-final opponents.While China started the quickest, the South Africans were travelling well and the two boats went through halfway side by side, with New Zealand behind that. These three pulled clear of the opposition and South Africa McCann and Grobler made their move, hitting the front. South Africa held off to beat New Zealand and China and qualified for the final in fourth.
Fastest qualifiers: 1 Netherlands 7:13.93, 2 Canada 7:16.35, Ireland 7:18.24, 1 South Africa 7:19.09 GL
Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls: James Thompson and John Smith won their semi-final in 6:38.01 to qualify for the final.
In a nutshell: The South Africans had caught the eye in reach the semi-finals but this is where things started to get tough. Thompson and Smith had been part of the Four that won gold in 2012 and are experienced, hardened campaigners. Norway set a cracking early pace to pull the field through 500m with South Africa, Poland and Italy virtually in a line for second. Norway went through halfway a boat length clear with Thompson and Smith leading the battle for second. Then the South Africans started to pile on the pressure and drew alongside Norway at the 1500m mark before nudging ahead to cross the line first.
Fastest qualifiers: 1 France 6:34.43, 2 United States 6:35.19, 3 Ireland 6:35.70, 4 South Africa 6:38.01 GL
Men’s Four: David Hunt, Jonathan Smith, Vincent Breet and Jake Green finished second in their semi in 6:15.22 to qualify for the final.
In a nutshell: The Four had reached the semi-final by virtue of winning their repechage and were drawn in lane six of the six boats. They needed to finish on the first three. Australia drew away but South Africa stuck to their guns and dug deep inside the last 500m, determined to qualify. They did exactly that by holding off Italy for second and Hunt punched the air in delight as they hit the line in second and reached the final after their first day disappointment. GL
Men’s 50m Freestyle, Heats: Doug Erasmus finished fourth in his heat in 22.37 and placed 29th overall , failing to qualify for the semi-finals.
Men’s 50m Freestyle, Heats: Brad Tandy finished fourth in his heat in 21.94 and qualified for the semi-finals.
In a nutshell: Tandy was the standout from a South African perspective. He finished 12th overall in a highly competitive event, highlighted by the fact he was only 0.33 seconds off the second placed qualifier. Ukraine’s Andrii Govorov set the standard at 21.49.
Men’s 50m freestyle, semi-finals: Tandy reached the final after finishing third in his heat in 21.80 and qualifying eighth overall. A magnificent achievement!
Men’s 100m butterfly: Chad le Clos finished third in his heat in 51.75 and qualified seventh fastest for the semi-finals. Le Clos needed to get back into the water after what he called ‘the worst performance of my career’, when fourth in the men’s 200m butterfly final, a result that saw him lose his Olympic title. However, he did what he had to do and intended to give a powerful statement later in the evening. And that’s what he did, finishing second behind Joseph Schooling in 51.43 for the second fastest qualifying time going into the final.
Men’s Strokeplay, First round: Brandon Stone shot an opening 75, four-over par, to sit 12 shots behind the early leader, Australia’s Marcus Fraser, ranked No90 in the world. Jaco van Zyl posted a level par 71.
470 Class, race three: Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson took 15th spot as winds ranged between 15 and 23 knots. In their fourth race they improved by one spot and are now lying 19th out of 26 craft. Leaders with just points are Croatia’s Igor Marenic and Sime Fantela with just four points. ME
Men’s semi-finals: South Africa went down 7-5 to Great Britain to lose out on a spot in the final against Fiji and instead met Japan in the bronze medal match where they racked up a half-century of points in beating them 54-14 and earning South Africa their fourth medal of these Games. GL/ME
Men’s singles group play stage – Group N: Jacob Maliekal lost 2-0 to Wan Ho Son (Kor). As coach Chris Dednam said: ‘The score might only be 10 and 10, but Jacob held his own as the best in Africa against one of the best in the world. The Korean guy justs gets everything back and it is difficult to create the neccesary pressure to make a point. With the wind and drift in the hall Jacob played a bit short in the second set and you cant afford playing half court against Korea.’ ME
Image of Brittain and Keeling by Christiaan Kotze/SASPA
GL = Gary Lemke
ME = Mark Etheridge