11 AUGUST 2016
Athens medallist congratulates SA’s latest rowing medal-winners
By Mark Etheridge
One of the first people to congratulate Lawrence Brittain and Shaun Keeling on winning silver in the rowing pairs at the Olympics on Thursday was fellow Olympian Ramon di Clemente.
Di Clemente won bronze in the same event at the Athens Olympics 12 years ago. Since then he’s gone on to actually row with both South Africa’s latest silver medallists.
In 2008 he teamed up with Keeling not too long before the Beijing Olympics and the duo raced to an impressive fifth spot in the A Final. He then teamed up with Brittain after Beijing and they went on to medal at World Cup level.
‘The boys raced well today. They needed to have a good second thousand and they did that today. I’m so proud of them as I’ve rowed with them both. ‘They did themselves justice as they’ve been working hard for many years.’ Di Clemente went on to express his confidence that the code will continue to make great strides. ‘The more medals we get the more popular it will become and I think there’s lots to look forward to.’ Lawrence’s silver now adds to Matthew’s gold when he was part of the lightweights fours in London four years ago.
SA Sevens sign off in style
By Gary Lemke
It must have been a tough few hours between that 7-5 surprise defeat to Great Britain at the Deodoro stadium and the bronze medal match against Japan, but Neil Powell’s men are a proud and professional unit and they got the job done in style, 54-14. And, when the dust had settled, a bronze is more than nine other countries, including New Zealand and Australia, achieved at the first rugby instalment at an Olympics since 1924.
Fiji went on to win the gold medal, their first of any colour in any sport and Olympics, thumping Great Britain 43-7. South Africa made their intentions known right from kick-off and within a minute they’d crossed the line – the third time this tournament they’d scored that quickly – after a sweeping movement downfield was finished off by Juan de Jongh, who gave Cecil Afrika an easy conversion.
SA draw with Iraq not enough
By Mo Allie
After a bright start to their Olympic campaign when they held Brazil 0-0, South Africa left the competition in disappointing fashion after holding a dominant Iraq to a 1 -1 draw at the Corinthians Stadium in Sao Paulo. Needing a win to progress to the quarter-finals, South Africa got off to the perfect start when Gift Motupa slotted home from close range after six minutes.
The goal came wrapped with a huge slice of luck, which was to prove a valuable ally throughout the game, when Andile Fikizolo’s cross rolled neatly into Orlando Pirates midfielder’s path off the back of Iraq defender Suad Natiq’s head just inside the six-yard area.
Stung by their early setback, the junior Lions of Mesopotamia took the game by the scruff of its neck and dominated the rest of the encounter with enterprising play that made the South Africans look like a motley crew that had been picked up off the street en route to the stadium.
Coach Pauw pushes for women’s league so game can grow
As the national women’s Olympic football team headed home from Rio on Thursday, coach Vera Pauw said the team’s eight-month journey has been an amazing one.
Banyana Banyana left the Olympic stage in Brazil with a gutsy performance that saw them hold Brazil to a goalless draw in the final group stages match on Tuesday night.
Not many had given the South Africans a chance against the hosts, who had demolished China 3-0 and ran riot over Sweden with a 5-1 victory in their first two matches.
But Banyana Banyana managed to put the brakes on the home side’s winning streak, in front of a packed Amazonia Arena in Manaus, Brazil.
‘We had intentions of winning, and this starts by not conceding. We gave everything in the second half of this match and in the end we had nothing else to give that is how difficult it was. But if you compare with a while ago, we could not give teams at this level a good game,’ said Pauw.
‘This shows we have grown so much in the last six months that we can only say it has been a tremendous journey, and hopefully a professional league will start in South Africa because if you can showcase this with this group of players, then you have to take care of the future of the game so that new talent can come in – and a professional league is the only way to drive forward into the future of women’s football in South Africa.’
How Team SA fared on Thursday
There were six different codes being 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. Times are Rio local and in brackets is SA time.
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 100m butterfly, heats: Chad le Clos finished third in his heat in 51.75 and qualified seventh fastest for the semi-finals.
In a nutshell: 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, admits that he is always rusty in the morning and is intending to give a powerful statement later in the evening.
Men’s Stroke play, 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.
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.
Men’s singles group play stage– Group N: Jacob Maliekal lost 2-0 to Wan Ho Son (Kor)
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