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Gold Coast 2018 – Day 5: It’s Raining Medals!

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Team South Africa started the week with nine Commonwealth Games medals in the bag on Monday, 9 April. Here’s here how all those in action performed.

Men’s high jump, Qualifying: Reigning world U18 champion Breyton Poole had his biggest day on the seniors stage but failed to make it through to the final. Needing a 2.27-metre height to guarantee a place in the final, the Cape Town youngster (personal best 2.25m) cleared 2.18 with his first jump but was unable to make the grade with the bar set at 2.21. “Sure it’s a tough pill to swallow but I’ve got many years ahead of me,’ said Poole. ‘I was busy with my take-off but the moment I jumped they said it was an automatic no-jump because the time was up. I still have much more to improve on and work on. But I’ll be back… for now just being in present of these legends of high jump is an honour, as it is to represent South Africa.’
Men’s 110m hurdles, qualifying: There were no Monday morning blues for Antonio Alkana as he breezed into Tuesday evening’s final as an automatic qualifier. He ended second in a time of 13.32, behind England’s Andrew Pozzi (13.29). Alkana turns 28 on Thursday and would surely like nothing better than to celebrate as a medallist? ‘I’m happy with the result even though my start wasn’t as good as it was in the warm-up.  Conditions were hot but that’s just the way we want it here,’ said Alkana.
Men’s T38 100m Final: South Africa’s finest para-athletes saw to it that another two medals came the country’s way. There was no stopping Aussie Evan O’Hanlon as he won in 11.09 but Dyan Buis and Charl du Toit has a battle royal before Buis dipped for the line in 11.33 and Du Toit (racing as a T37 athlete in this event) clocked 11.35 for a brand-new world record. In fact, the 11.41sec previous best that he ran at Tuks during national champs earlier this year, still has to be ratified as a world record. ‘These guys pulled me along,’ said Du Toit. ‘I was hoping for a good time because I knew Dyan is in great shape. This might me be last international 100m race but I’m not sure. First I’m going to think how we’ll celebrate tonight. The third SA athlete in the race, Union Sekailwe, was fifth in 11.67. ‘Oh it was great running in front of this crowd,’ said the athlete who sported his customary bleached mohawk hairstyle. ‘It’s a lovely fast track and gave me a season’s best. Now I must focus on a 100 and 400m race in Spain three weeks from now.’
Women’s 1500m heats: Caster Semenya cruised into Tuesday’s final in consummate fashion, just as she was expected to do. She coasted around the first few laps before taking the bell in a time of 3min 03min. She slowly pulled away with around 200m to go with the rest of the field floundering in her way to win in 4min 05.86sec. Behind her the second and third place athletes posted a personal and season’s best respectively. Semenya’s time in the heat wasn’t that far of Hellen Obiri’s Games record of 4:04.43 set in Glasgow four years ago!
Men’s shot put final: Orazio Cremona took sixth spot with a heave of 20.51 on his fourth attempt. That was 90cm behind winner Thomas Walsh of New Zealand. The big man from Gauteng was brutally honest though. ‘Obviously a bit disappointed. It was a good distance but not good enough for a medal at a Championships but congrats to the other guys. I had a few technical issues… they haven’t been here all season! “Nice” for them to crop up at a championships! The rhythm just wasn’t there tonight.’

Men’s 100m Final: GOLD! Akani Simbine rocketed to South Africa’s fourth gold medal of the night as he won the men’s blue riband final! And it got even better as he led compatriot Henricho Bruintjies to a glorious 1-2 in the final, relegating favourite Yohan Blake of Jamaica into third. Simbine clocked 10.03 in the muggy Carrara Stadium conditions. Starting in lane eight he didn’t get off to the greatest star but was going away in horse racing parlance at the depth. On his outside Bruintjies was being sucked along in the slipstream and dipped Blake for silver in 10.17, 0.02sec clear… a memorable close to the night for the rainbow nation.

Women’s Pairs, Section A, Round One: There were broad smiles on the Broadbeach rinks as South Africa’s Nicolene Neal and singles bronze medallist Colleen Piketh got the day off to a great start with a 23-6 win over Jersey. Down after one end, they were never behind after that as they steadily added to their scores.
Mixed B2/B3 Pairs, Section A, Round Five: There was yet another win for Princess Schroeder and Philippus Walker as they saw Wales off to the tune of 11-8. They were up after five ends and never looked back. They’ll now play Wales in the semi-final stages.
Women’s Fours Final: South Africa, represented by Esme Kruger, Nicolene Neale, Johanna Snyman and Elma Davis, went down 18-16 to the host nation. SA were up 3-0 after two ends but once Australia got going they never took their foot off the pedal and inched their way to victory. Defeat for SA, but still, it means there’s another medal in the bag for the team, the second silver for the rainbow nation and took the tally into double figures.
Men’s Singles, Section D, Round One: Petrus Breitenbach beat Malta’s Brendan Aquilina 21-17.
Men’s Singles, Section D, Round Two: Breitenbach beat Welshman Daniel Salmon 31-15.
Men’s Fours, Section B, Round One: South Africa’s Gerry Baker, Jason Evans, Rudi Jacobs and Morgan Muvhango went down 19-7 to their Indian opponents.
Women’s Triples, Section D, Round One: This one was a thrashing of note as South Africans Elma Davis, Esme Kruger, Johanna Snyman) annihilated Niue, the final score being 40-7 against the tiny Pacific Island that had a population of just over 1500 three years ago.
Women’s triples, Section D, Round Two: South Africa (Elma Davis, Esme Kruger, Johanna Snyman) went down against Northern Ireland by the narrowest of margins, losing 13-14.
Open B6/B7/B8 Triples, Section A, Round 5: South Africa (Tobias Botha, Willem Viljoen, Christopher Patton) took Scotland 15-7 to book themselves a place in the semi-finals.

Women’s Pool A: South Africa vs Wales: Goals either side of halftime, saw Sheldon Rostron’s charges triumphing 2-0. Cape Town’s Candice Manuel opened the scoring in the 25th minute and then Jade Mayne made it 2-0 in the 41st. Both were field goals. Manuel will be well-pleased to find the net after the frustration last year when she had to return early from the Continental Cup in Egypt with a broken right hand.

Men’s Queen’s Prize Pairs finals, Day One: After the disappointment of the men’s 10m air rifle duo it was Team South Africa’s Petrus Haasbroek and Jacobus du Toit who punched (fired?) above their weight to end the day as second of 16 teams. The pair had the same sore as leaders England – 299 – but the fact that they had two less V-Bulls puts them in second spot.

Men’s 50m Freestyle, Heats: 
Brad Tandy flew off the blocks and powered down the lane to win his heat in 21.78, just 0.02 seconds off Ben Proud’s Games record. But Proud responded with a new Games record of 21.45. Tandy is second fastest going into the semi-finals. Ryan Coetzee scratched from the event.
Semi-finals: Tandy, who had finished sixth at the Rio Olympics, has one of the fastest starts in swimming. Again he got off the blocks and led all the way to win his semi-final in 21.92, slightly slower than the morning’s 21.78. ‘I felt it could be a little quicker but the main aim was to make the final. We’ll have a look at the footage and see where to go.’ Only Ben Proud, with another Games record 21.30, qualified with a faster time.
Men’s 200m Backstroke, Heats: Martin Binedell won his heat in 1.57.92, faster than his entry time of 1:58.20, to qualify for the final as the No1 seed. Lying in wait is a trio of Australians. Jarryd Baxter finished fourth in his heat in 2:02.17, which left him 13th overall and missing out on the final. Luan Grobbelaar finished sixth in his heat with a 2:06.10, for 18th overall and failing to progress to the final.
Final: Binedell followed up his morning PB of 1:57.92, which had made him the fastest qualifier with another PB in the final, clocking 1:57.87. However, he was always chasing the leaders and the podium was a clean sweep of Australians in Mitch Larkin (1:56.10), Brad Woodward (1:56.57) and Josh Beaver (1:57.04).
Men’s S7 Freestyle, Heat: Christiaan Sadie is eyeing a medal after qualifying second fastest in the heat and all six swimmers will do it again tonight. Sadie touched in 29.54, behind Australia’s Matthew Levy 28.68. The world record is 28.57.
Final: A second swim under 30 seconds following his morning 29.54 gave Sadie second position and a silver medal. ‘I didn’t have a good underwater but the swim itself went great. I have been struggling to get under 30 seconds and am looking for more consistency so this will give me confidence. I can’t wait to get back to South Africa and work up to the Nationals.’ Australia’s Matthew Levy took gold in 28.60.
Men’s 50m Breaststroke, Final: Cameron van der Burgh won gold for the third successive Commonwealth Games in the 50m to show that while he still has the raw speed, he’s also the man for the big occasion. This time he held off the world record, the man they said was untouchable, England’s Adam Peaty. Van der Burgh reached the wall in 26.58, with Peaty second in 26.62. England’s James Wilby took bronze. Michael Houlie was sixth in 27.83 and Brad Tandy, 30 minutes after his 50m freestyle semi-final, was eighth in 28.37.
Men’s 100m Butterfly, Final: Chad le Clos picked up his third gold medal of the Games and completed a clean sweep of the butterfly when he added the 100m to the 50m and 200m golds he had won earlier. He also picked up silver in the 100m freestyle. The result was never in doubt as the South African superstar flew off the blocks and led from start to finish. His time of 50.65 broke the previous Commonwealth Games rceord of 51.29.
Women’s 100m Freestyle, Final: Erin Gallagher finished sixth behind Australia’s Bronte Campbell, and the young South African is having a dream Games. She clocked 54.23 to truly establish herself amongst the big guns on the world stage. In 2020 at the Tokyo Olympics she will be a force to be reckoned with.
Women’s 100m Breaststroke, Final: Tatjana Schoenmaker continued her amazine championships when she smashed the African record that had stood behind Penny Heyns’ name since 1999. Schoenmaker was second at the turn and battled strongly down the final lap to win in 1:06.41. The previous record was 1:06.52 and Schoenmaker had swum a 1:06.65 in the semi-final. ‘It still hasn’t sunk in,’ she said afterwards. ‘Maybe I’ll get emotional just before I go to sleep!’
Women’s 50m Backstroke, Heats: Erin Gallagher has had a memorable Games so far and already booked her place in two finals. Here she progressed to the semi-finals with a 29.38 swim, but ranked 15 on the timesheets and she withdrew, to conserve energy, given she wouldn’t have expected to reach the final. Mariella Venter, with a 29.88 in the heats, qualified 17th overall to be a reserve for the semis, and got an evening swim when Gallagher withdrew.
Semi-finals: Venter improved to a 29.58 in the evening’s swim but this wasn’t enough for her to qualify for the final.
Women’s 200m Butterfly, Heats: Duné Coetzee, still only 15 and in her first major senior championships, clocked a 2:12.30 for fifth in her race, which was essentially a semi-final. That left her 11th overall and she missed out on the final.
Women’s 800m Freestyle, Final: After a gruelling 800m of swimming, Kate Beavon recorded exactly the same time (8:49.16) that she had set in qualifying for the final. It placed her eighth in the final. Australians made it a 1-2-3 with Ariane Titmus (8:20.02) leading home Jessica Ashwood (8:27.60) and Kiah Melverton (8:28.59).

Compiled by Gary Lemke and Mark Etheridge

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Gold Coast 2018 – Day 4

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HOW TEAM SA FARED – DAY 4 (9 April 2018)
Two more medals came Team South Africa’s way on Sunday, taking their total to nine at these Commonwealth Games. Take a look at how everyone in action fared.
Men’s 20km walk: It was an early morning start  for Team South Africa’s Games campaign in this code and it didn’t quite get off on the right foot as Lebogang Shange and Wayne Snyman ended ninth and 14th respectively in the race-walking along the Southport coast line. Shange, especially, would have been quietly fancying his chances of standing on the podium but his time of 1hr 23min 27sec was 3min 53sec down on gold medal winner Dane Bird-Smith. The Aussie, who often links up with Shange for training camps, clocked 1:19:34for a Games record. Snyman clocked 1:28:09. Shange was up in sixth position just after halfway but slipped back in the second half. He was in the early lead bunch but couldn’t move up from 14th from the halfway mark.

Men’s hammer: Tshepang Makhethe was competing at his first Commonwealth Games and the 22-year-old missed out on the top eight, his 67.99m in front of a close-to-full Carrara stadium putting him ninth as England’s Nick Miller won in a Games record 80.26. Makhethe had earlier opened with a 67.05m efforts. ‘It just wasn’t my day,’ he said. ‘I felt good in the warm-ups but I couldn’t nail the big one. I was aiming for around a 7m to make the top eight cut.

Men’s 100m, Round One: As expected, Akani Simbine sauntered into the semi-finals of the blue riband sprint event. Going off in heat three, he was the only one of seven athletes to have a sub-10sec season’s best, his 9.94sec a full 0.24sec quicker than the next best. He won at a canter, clocking 10.21. ‘I’m happy to just go through nice and comfortably.’ Is the track fast? ‘Let’s find out in the semi-final, I just wanted to do enough and keep the body healthy and comfortable.’ Henricho Bruintjies was off in heat six and his time was just a tad slower than Simbine, as he hit the line in 10.23 to join Simbine in the next round (first two finishers in each heat qualified automatically).  ‘It’s great running in front of such a big crowd for afternoon heats. My aim was just to get out of the blocks quickly because quite a few of those guys have very quick starts. So I got out quick and then the last 30m or so was cruise control.’

Women’s T38 long jump: These were Juanelie Meijer’s second Commonwealth Games and she improved in terms of both position and distance. In Glasgow, Scotland four years ago she was fifth with a leap of 4.06m. She has a personal best of 4.40 and on Sunday she ended fourth in front of a packed crowd down the back straight of the Carrara Stadium. Her opening jump of 4.19m proved to be her best of the day. ‘My mom had a dream that I’d get a medal with my last jump but that didn’t happen,’ she smiled. ‘But I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. It’s been amazing experience and I’ve had the time of my life. My first jump wasn’t too bad  and my second was just a centimetre shorter but then I started stepping over and went back too far. I must say that being part of the main athletics programme is wonderful and it’s great to be included. We only really get to jump twice a year at worlds and nationals so this was another priceless opportunity.’

Men’s shot put qualifying: Orazio Cremona did what he came to do, which was to ensure his spot in the final. He needed just one hefty heave of 19.24m which put him through as fifth best thrower in his qualification group. Up ahead though, it was New Zealand’s Thomas Walsh who didn’t hold much back with a Commonwealth record of 22.45. Impressive stuff!

Men’s 100m semi-final: Speedsters Bruintjies and Simbine did just enough to book their places in Monday’s final. Both finished second in their respective semi-finals. Bruintjies clocked 10.26 and Simbine 10.12. They went through automatically by virtue of the fact that were in the top two of their race.

Mixed M2/B3 Pairs, Section A, Round 4:
 Princess Schroeder and Philippus Walker (directors: Graham Ward and Johanna van Rooyen beat England 19-8
Women’s Fours, Semi-final: South Africa (Elma Davis, Esme Kruger, Nicolene Neal, Johanna Strydom) got the better of Malta, winning 14-8. The SA crew got their noses in front at the fifth end and were never headed again as they steadily added to their score.
Women’s singles, Semi-final:Colleen Piketh went down 21-17 to Jo Edwards of New Zealand. It was a titanic struggle which went down to the wire. Piketh was on the back foot for much of the clash, trailing by as many as four shots on occasions. But the SA player is a fighter and pulled back to square matters at 15-15 on the 19th. She then edged ahead and on the 21st she led by two shots (17-15). But that was where her challenge ended as Piketh added six more scores to wrap things up. Piketh will now play Canada’s Kelly McKerihen in the bronze medal play-off later on Sunday.
Women’s singles, Bronze medal match: Piketh picked up South Africa’s fourth bronze medal of these Games when she beat McKerihen 21-17.  Just like her semi-final Piketh had to come from behind, 5-0 down after two ends. It got worse and she was 4-11 down after six! She then clawed her way to 11-11 and took the lead for the first time on the 15th end. All square on the 18th at 17-17 Piketh then powered her way to glory!
Open Triples B6/B7/B8, Section A, Round Four:  South Africa’s Patton, Botha and Viljoen downed  New Zealand 19-11.

Men’s 64kg, Round of 16: After compatriot Siyabula Mphongoshi has lost his opening bout on Friday, Sinethemba Blom put things back on track with a win against Guyana’s Colin Lewis.  Fighting out of the blue corner, 25-year-old Blom won 4-1. Of the five judges only Algeria thought that Blom hadn’t done enough for the win. He’ll now take on Ghana’s Jessie Lartey in Tuesday’squarter-final.

Men’s 40km points race, Qualifying round, Heat One:David Maree ended 10th with a score of 5 and was one of 12 qualifiers for the evening final. Winner of the 16-strong heat was England’s Ethan Hayter.
Men’s 40km points race, Qualifying round, Heat Two:Steven van Heerden and Nolan Hoffman joined compatriot Maree in the final when they finished sixth and eighth respectively. They returned points tallies of 23 and 12 as England’s Oliver Wood took race honours.

Men’s Pool A: South Africa vs New Zealand: The young South African side were on the receiving end of another whitewash, their second in two daysOn Saturday they lost 4-0 to Australia and on Sunday they went down to the Aussies’ neighbours New Zealand – and this time it was 6-0. They were down 1-0 as early as the fourth minute but effectively the game was over in the space of three minutes when the Kiwis rifled in three goals in the 25th, 26th and 27th minutes.  There was no coming back for coach Mark Hopkins’ men as they conceded another two goals in the 50th and 53rd minute.

Preliminary round, Pool A: South Africa went down to 60-38 to world champions Australia. After a bright start they were down 9-16 after the first quarter and a tight second quarter saw the Aussies only increasing their winning margin by two. But the relentless pressure told and the Diamonds scored 15 goals in both the third and fourth quarter with SA managing eight and nine respectively. Ine-Marie Venter was the Proteas top scorer with 33 goals.

Men’s 10m air rifle, qualification: Neither of the team’s two shottists were able to progress to the evening’s final. Barto Pienaar was best of the two in the 18-strong field, shooting a score of 612.7 and placing 11th, just 2.4 points away from making the final which features eight shooters. Compatriot Pierre Basson was 15th with a return of 604.7.

Men’s 100m Freestyle, Final: SILVER!Chad le Clos added the 100m freestyle silver medal to the two butterfly golds he has already won with a heroic attempt. Le Clos recorded a personal best 48.15, but was just touched off by Scotland’s Duncan Scott, who came past the South African in the final two strokes to the wall, touching first in 48.02. ‘I wish we could do it all again … get in the pool and race again,’ said Le Clos.
Men’s 50m Breaststroke, Heats: Cameron van der Burgh, who won bronze in the 100m the previous evening, was impressive in winning his heat in 27.01, a time that placed him second behind Adam Peaty going into the semi-final. Joining him in the semis are Michael Houlie, the Bishops matriculant, who finished fourth in his heat in 27.92 for seventh overall, while Brad Tandy, who finished fourth in his heat in 28.17 for 11th overall.
Semi-final: Van der Burgh, Houlier and Tandy all booked their places in Monday night’s final. Van der Burgh continued to show that he’s a force to be reckoned with at this level, despite being the ‘senior statesman’ and his 26.95 was only bettered by England star Adam Peaty. Michael Houlie produced the race of his short careerby qualifying fifth fastest in 27.64 and Brad Tandy snuck in with a 27.99 that gave him the eighth place.
Men’s 100m Butterfly, Heats: Chad le Clos needs the 100m title to complete a clean sweep of the butterfly events at these Games and he took it easy in the morning qualifying, finishing second in 53.67 in his heat behind Sean Campsie. That was the fifth fastest of the morning. In the same heat as Le Clos, Eben Vorster finished fifth in 55.11 for 15th overall, while in the following heat Ryan Coetzee, the 50m bronze medallist, finished sixth in 55.03, which placed him 14th overall. All three went through to the evening’s semi-finals.
Semi-finals: It will be left to Le Clos to fly the South African flag in the final after Ryan Coetzee (54.17 for 12th and Eben Vorster, 54.75 for 14th) were unable to reach the elite eight. Le Clos, the defending champion looking to compete a clean sweep of buterfly golds, looked comfortable in finishing second to James Guy in 52.56, which made him fourth quickest overall.
Women’s 100m Freestyle, Heats: Erin Gallagher is having a good Games and her form continued when she easily qualified for the semi-finals, finishing third in her heat in 55.36. That was enough to leave her ninth fastest. Also comfortably in the last 16 was Emma Chelius, who showed up well early before finishing fifth in the quickest heat of the morning, her 56.04 seeing her go through to the semi-finals in 12th.
Semi-final: Gallagher broke Karin Prinsloo’s African and South African record that had stood since 2014 with a superb 54.38 in her semi-final which saw her qualify for Monday night’s final in seventh place overall. Chelius produced a 56.40 in her semi-final to miss out on a final, placing 14th overall.
Women’s 100m Breaststroke, Heats: All three South Africans entered progressed to the semi-finals, with Emily Visagie squeezing in at 16th after a 1:10.65. Kaylene Corbett finished fifth in her heat in 1:09.40, for 10th overall but all eyes were on 200m gold medallist Tatjana Schoenmaker. The 20-year-old, also fourth in the 50m final, was fourth in her heat at the turn but powered down the lane in the final 50m to touch the wall first in a fast 1:07.69. That left her second fastest of the morning behind Georgia Bohl (1:07.40).
Semi-final: Schoenmaker set herself up as the gold medal favourite to add to her 200m gold when she destroyed a quality field in the semi-finals. Her 1:06.65 was a personal best by a long way and only 0.13 seconds off Penny Heyns’ African record that has stood since 1999. Kaylene Corbett produced a 1:09.36 which placed her 13th overall and Emily Visagie’s 1:10.80 left her 15th on the overall results sheet.
Women’s 200m Backstroke, Heats: Both Nathania van Niekerk and Mariella Venter were in the water early. Both placed fourth in their races, with Van Niekerk timing 2:16.07, before Venter went quicker than that with a 2:14.82. That left them 11th and 10th overall, missing out on a place in the final.
Women’s 200m IM, Heats: Team SA had two swimmers in action, Emily Visagie and Marlies Ross across the two heats with the fastest eight going through to the final. Both were in the second heat and Visagie finished sixth in 2:18.27 and Ross seventh in 2:19.67. That left them 11th and 13th overall and missing out on the final.
Women’s 800m Freestyle, Heats: There were nine swimmers spread over two heats and Kate Beavon (8:49.16) qualified for the final, in eighth position, but Kristin Bellingan (9:02.88) was the unlucky one who missed out.

Women’s 69kg final: She wasn’t able to add a second medal for this code after Mona Pretorius got bronze on Saturday but Celestie Engelbrecht gave a good account of herself. Orignally from Ermelo, but now living in Johannesburg and having celebrated her 30th birthday just last month, she ended seventh of 13 lifters, with a total of 193kg – 83 in the snatch and 110kg in the clean and jerk. India’s Punam Yadav dominated with a gold-medal winning total of 222kg.


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Gold Coast 2018 – Day 3: Tatjana the Brave

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HOW TEAM SA FARED – DAY 3 (7 April 2018)

They started the day with three medals in the bank, with two golds and bronze, leaving them sixth on the medals table, and Team SA increased that count on day three. This is how they fared.

Men’s Triples, Section A: India picked up a shot on the final end (the 18th) to edge South Africa 18-17 in their fifth round match. Team SA’s Rudi Jacobs, Morgan Muvhango and Gerry Baker let a 15-8 lead slip after 14 ends. India picked up six shots on the 17th end to tie things up at 17-17 before taking the win on the 18th.
Preliminary, Women’s Singles, Section A: Colleen Piketh eased to a comfortable 21-9 win over Zambia’s Getrude Siame in their fifth round match. It was tight with the score 9-9 after nine ends, but Piketh then turned on the heat, picking up 12 shots in only five further ends.
Women’s Singles, Quarter-final: Piketh put her herself into medal-winning contention with a 21-19 win over local favourite Karen Murphy. Piketh found herself 4-0 down after three ends and then 7-1 down by the sixth. By the 10th she’d moved into the lead (8-7). At the 23rd end she was 19-18 down but the Aussie was unable to add to her score as Piketh moved three clear for the win.
Men’s Pairs, Section B: South Africa’s Petrus Breitenbach and Jason Evans won their fifth round match over the Isle of Man’s Kenneth McGreal and Mark McGreal 19-13, in a match in which they always looked in control, stretching into the lead after things had been 6-6 after eight ends.
Men’s Pairs, Quarter-final: This one went down to the wire as Breitenbach and Evans lost out by a single shot, 15-14 to the Cook Islands. It was all square at the 16th (13-13) but then the Pacific Islanders notched up two scores on the next end and although the SA pair clawed one back on the final end it wasn’t enough.
Women’s Fours, Round Five: Esme Kruger, Nicolene Neal, Johanna Snyman and Elma Davis raced to an 11-1 lead against New Zealand after just five ends. Although the Kiwis fought back the South Africans always looked to have things in the bag, winning 16-11.
Women’s Fours, Quarter-final: Midway through this clash, the South African team (same as above) were up 12-1 (again against New Zealand) and went on to win 16-8 to set themselves up for a definite shot at a medal.
Mixed B2/B3B4 Pairs, Round Three: Princess Schroeder and Philippus Walker (directed by Graham Ward and Johanna van Rooyen) raced out to an 14-0 lead after nine ends and then steadily added to that tally before winning 18-3 against Scotland.
Open B6/B7/B8 Triples, Round Three: It was Christopher Patton, Tobias Botha and Willem Viljoen who steadily accumulated points along the way to a 21-4 victory against Wales.

Men’s 15km Scratch Race, Heat One: Former world silver medallist in this event, Nolan Hoffman ended 14th and last,  failing to qualify for the final. The race was won by John Archibald of Scotland .
Men’s 15km Scratch Race, Heat One:  David Maree ended eighth to book a place in the final but Joshua van Wyk failed to finish.

Men’s Pool A: South Africa fought hard but went down 4-0 to the host nation. They held it together for the first quarter but then conceded in the second, third (twice) and fourth quarters. Trent Mitton netted twice for the Aussies as South Africa had Dayaan Cassiem yellow-carded and Daniel Bell green-carded.

Pool A: South Africa bounced back from defeat against Jamaica in their opening game here and beat Northern Ireland 49-35. Coach Norma Plummer’s girls won three of the four quarters, only being shaded in the second (12-11).  Sigi Burger was the dominant force for South Africa with 38 goals from 41 attempts and Ina-Marie Venter and Maryka Holtzhausen weighed in with seven and four of their own respectively.

South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker wins the swimming women’s 200m breaststroke final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Optus Aquatic Centre in the Gold Coast on April 7, 2018 / AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images)

Men’s 200m Butterfly, Heats:
 Chad le Clos and Eben Vorster were the first in action on the day in two different heats, which effectively were semi-finals. Le Clos, the defending champion, did what he had to, finishing third in 1:57.89 in a race won by Canada’s Darragh Mackenzie (1:56.96), while having time to look around for the opposition and qualify for the final. Vorster finished sixth in his heat in 2:00.72 for 12th overall and missing the final.
Final: GOLD! Chad le Clos led from start to finish to surge to an impressive win in 1:54.00. The outcome never seemed in doubt after he’d got off the blocks and he stretched away to win by 2.36 seconds. ‘I heard the crowd shouting in the last 50m and I thought someone was catching me, and I thought “oh no”,’ he smiled. It was his third straight Commonwealth Games 200m butterfly gold, a Games record and his 14th Games medal.
Women’s 200m Breaststroke, Heats: Kaylene Corbett finished third in the first of three heats with a time of 2:27.68. It was a fine swim from the 18-year-old who qualified for the final in seventh spot overall. She will be joined by Tatjana Schoenmaker who continued her strong form from the 100m with a fast 2:23.57 in winning her race and going into the final as the No 1 seed. Emily Visagie is a reserve for the final, qualifying ninth overall after finishing fourth in the heat won by Schoenmaker. She later went through after a withdrawal.
Final: GOLD! Tatjana Schoenmaker is only 20 but she marked herself as a future superstar by winning gold, in her second African record of the day, in 2:22.02. Two other South Africans in the final, Emily Visagie and Kaylene Corbett, finished seventh and eight in 2:29.25 and 2:29.40, respectively.
Men’s SB8 100m Breaststroke, Heats: Kaleb van der Merwe finished seventh in his heat in 1:28.26 to qualify for the final where the same eight swimmers will be in action. Australia’s Timothy Disken (1:13.87) led the way while Blake Cochrane’s 1:19.81 seemed to be where Van der Merwe will be aiming if he wanted to be in the medals.
Final: Kaleb van der Merwe finished seventh in 1:26.11, with Australia’s Timothy Disken taking gold in 1:12.42.
Women’s 50m Butterfly, Heats: Emma Chelius finished fourth in her heat in 27.55 and Erin Gallagher was also fourth in her heat in 27.05. Both qualified for the semi-finals in eighth and 13th place overall and will be quietly confident of going quicker in the evening in their quest to make the final.
Men’s 100m Freestyle, Heats: This is one of the blue riband races of the Games and Chad le Clos booked his place in the semi-finals with a 49.17 swim. ‘I can’t match him off the blocks,’ said Australia’s Jack Cartwright, who came through to win the heat in the last 50m with the South African second, which left Le Clos seventh fastest going into the semis. Calvyn Justus finished seventh in the same race with a 50.06 for 20th overall and missing out on the semi-finals.
Semi-final: Chad le Clos won the second semi-final in 48.61, beating home Olympic champion Kyle Chambers of Australia, to go into the final as the second fastest qualifier.
Men’s 100m breaststroke, Final: Cameron van der Burgh picked up the bronze medal after a strong start. Adam Peaty, the favourite, won in a Games record 58.84, with England’s James Wilby finishing fast in 59.43. Van der Burgh was just 0.01 behind in third. ‘At this stage of my career the 50m is probably my best event, but I’m very happy. People remember medals, not times and I’m happy to come here and win another medal,’ he said.
Women’s 50m freestyle, Final: Erin Gallagher performed admirably in her first Commonwealth Games final. The 19-year-old finished fifth in 25.03, the same time she had registered in the semi-final. ‘I was hoping to go 24-something, but I’m learning all the time and there’s a lot more to come from me,’ she said.
Semi-finals: Emma Chelius placed seventh in 27.52 and missed out on a place in the final, but Erin Gallagher, who was fourth in her semi, in 26.85, got in to the final with the eighth fastest time.

Mixed Team Relay: There was heartache for Team SA after the heroics of Thursday when Henri Schoeman won South Africa’s first gold medal of the Games. On this occasion, even he was powerless to prevent the team ending last of eight teams. The team’s (Simone Ackermann, Schoeman, Gillian Sanders and Richard Murray) time of 1hr 23min 34sec was two seconds shy of gold medallists Australia with England second and New Zealand third. Ackermann had come out of the 250-metre swim leg looking comfortable midway through the field. But it was apparent extremely early in the bike leg that she was in trouble. Team manager Lindsey Parry explained later that Ackermann had appeared to aggravate an old hip injury or perhaps even pick up a new injury.

Women’s 63kg final: Veteran Commonwealth Games lifter Mona Pretorius took bronze with a total of 206kg. The Port Elizabeth powerhouse, now based in Texas, United States, returned a snatch total of 91kg and went on to lift 115kg in the clean and jerk. The 29-year-0ld was beaten by Canadian Maude Charron (220kg) and England’s Zoe Smith, just one small kilogram separating silver and bronze. This was Pretorius’ fourth Commonwealth Games and also South Africa’s fourth medal of the 2018 Games.

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Gold Coast 2018 – Day 2

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With one gold medal under their belt from day one, when Henri Schoeman won the triathlon, Team SA went in search of more medals on day two. And they hit paydirt in the pool! This is how they fared.


Mixed Team, Group C: South Africa suffered their second whitewash of the Games when they were beaten by England, losing 5-0. Prakash Vijayanath and Michelle Butler-Emmett were beaten 21-12, 21-15 by Ben Lane and Jessica Pugh.
Bongani van Bodenstein lost his men’s singles match 21-7, 21-7 to Rajiv Ouseph.
Joanna Scholtz lost her women’s singles match 21;10, 21-10 to Chloe Birch.
In the men’s doubles, Cameron Coetzer and Van Bodenstein went down 21-7, 21-7 to Lane and Chris Adcock.
And in the women’s doubles, Buttler-Emmett and Elmé de Villiers were beaten 21-12, 21-17 by Sarah Walker and Lauren Smith.
Mixed Team, Group C: South Africa recorded their first victory at these games, bouncing back in their second match of the day when they beat continental counterparts Uganda 3-2!
First match saw Vijayanath and Butler-Emmett beat Brian Kasirye and Aisha Nakiyemba 21-16 21-15.
The first of the two singles match-ups saw Bongani van Bodenstein going down to one of the top players on the continent in Edwin Ekiring, the Tuks player losing21-13 21-11.
The women’s singles saw Scholtz going down to Shamim Bangi 21-13 22-20.
Men’s double action then ended with the tie all square at 2-2 as Vijayanath and Cameron Coetzer beat Ekireng and Kasirye 21-16 21-16.
That left the two teams with everything to play for and it was the turn for girl-power to come to the fore.
And boy, did they do just that! They needed just 19 minutes to beat Nakiyemba and Bangi 21-10 21-10.

Preliminary, Men’s Triples: South Africa’s Gerald Baker, Rudi Jacobs, Morgan Muvhango beat Papua New Guinea in a close encounter, 16-15. In their second match of the day they went down to England 24-13.
Preliminary, Women’s Singles: Colleen Piketh had an easy 21-4 victory over Tonga’s Malia Kioa with the Pacific Islander unable to add to her score over the last five ends. But Piketh then went on to lose against Australia’s Karen Murphy, the score 21-16.
Preliminary, Men’s Pairs: Petrus Breitenbach, Jason Evans posted an impressive 28-6 win over Jamaica.
Preliminary, B2/B3 Mixed Pairs: Princess Schroeder, Phillip Walker had a narrow 14-12 win against New Zealand.
Prelininary: Open B6/B7/B8 Triples: Christopher Patton, Tobias Botha, aand Willem Viljoen went down 13-10 to the host nation.
Preliminary, Women’s Fours: Elma Davis, Esme Kruger, Nicolene Neal, Johanna Snyman had a comfortable 19-7 win over the small island nation of Jersey.
Preliminary, Men’s Pairs: Petrus Breitenbach and Jason Evans got the better of  Northern Ireland to end a day of bowling which saw six combinations winning and three on the wrong side of the scoreline.

Men’s 46-49kg: Team SA’s Siyabulela Mphongoshi lost his last 16 encounter against Sri Lanka’s Thikwanka Ranasinghe. Boxing was held at the impressive Oxenford Studios, an event surrounded by some extremely hair-raising theme parks with rollercoaster rides etc. Pretty much like this flight-flyweight encounter, which was an all-action affair. But the result was very lop-sided. Fighting out of the red corner, the South African went down 4-0 on points and had one point deducted by Canadian referee, Frank Fiacco. Of the five judges only one thought the Port Elizabeth based fighter deserved a draw. The judges scores for the three-rounder were 29-27, 29-27, 28-28, 29-27, 29-27.

Women’s 3000m Individual Pursuit qualifying: While none of the women went through to the evening final… there was much to smile about. Charlene du Preez set a new South African record of 3min 45.764sec in finishing 18th in the 22-strong field. Ilze Bole and the young Danni van Niekerk were 19th and 21st respectively and their times of 3:53,312 and4:03.570 were both comfortable personal bests.
Men’s 4000m Individual Pursuit: Just like their women counterparts, Steven van Heerden, Gert Fouche, Joshua van Wyk all showed that while they may not have medalled or made the final they’ve all made progress at the Games. Van Heerden also notched up a national mark with his 4:32.921 which was good for 19th spot. Fouche was 21st in 4:35.783 and Van Wyk 26th with a time of 4:43.335. It was a brutal qualifying with the four men in the final all having broken the Commonwealth Games record. All the South Africans improved on their previous bests by between six and 12 seconds.

Women’s artistic, Qualification: Team South Africa’s pair of Claudia Cummins and Naveen Daries ended first and second respectively (field of 10) in the all-around scores of sub-division (one of four categories). Cummins had an all-around score of 46.025 (vault, 13.050, third in her sub-division; Uneven bars, 11.775, first;  beam, 9.700, fifth; floor, 11.150, second), Naveen Daries was second in all-around with a total of 45.350 (uneven bars, 11.700, second;  beam, 10.400, second; floor, 10.300, sixth). Both Cummins and Daries had falls but the good news is that both qualified for Saturday’s All-Around Finals. Cummins’ injury came on her last tumble and she was taken to hospital for further assessment on a bad knee injury. The news is not good. She has a ruptured ACL ligament and torn meniscus and will need surgery.

Pool A, Preliminary round: South Africa 46 Jamaica 57: South Africa started out fast, taking the match to their fancied opponents and an 11-8 lead was stretched to 15-10 by the end of the first quarter. Jamaica then clawed their way back into the contest, levelling things at 22-22 at half-time. SA responded well in the third quarter, stretching out to 35-29, before Jamaica finished the quarter strongly. Heading into the last 15 minutes SA led 38-37. But they were simply swept aside in the final quarter as Jamaica turned on the power and precision to blow away the South African resistance.

Men’s 200m Freestyle, Heats: Chad le Clos showed his intent by getting off the blocks quickly and leading through 175m before he was touched off by Australia’s Kyle Chambers in their heat. Le Clos timed 1:47.37, which qualified him for the final in sixth position. Just as he likes it … the ‘underdog’.
Eben Vorster, who turns 22 later this month, finished sixth in his heat in 1:50.78, which placed him 18th overall and he’ll be watching Le Clos go for gold from the stands.
Women’s 50m Freestyle, Heats: Erin Gallagher and Emma Chelius found themselves in the same heat and both got the job done. Gallagher chased home Australia’s Bronte Campbell, the South African timing 25.21, while Chelius touched in 25.62. The performances placed them fifth and eighth fastest, respectively, and qualified them for the semi-finals.
Semi-finals: Erin Gallagher finished third in her semi-final, in a time of 25.03, which placed her fifth fastest qualifier for the final. Emma Chelius was fourth in her semi in 25.89 and was involved in a swim off for a place in the final right at the end of the evening, a two-woman race. She came up against Kalia Antoniou of Cyprus.
Men’s 100m Breaststroke, Heats: Cameron van der Burgh started fast, as we have come to expect and turned in front in 27.50. He was overhauled by England’s James Wilby but timed 1:00.20, which qualified him for the semi-finals in third place behind England’s Adam Peaty.
Michael Houlie also earned a swim in the evening’s semi-finals by finishing fourth (1:01.66) in the same heat as Van der Burgh and qualified ninth fastest for the semis.
Semi-finals: Cameron van der Burgh heads into the final on Saturday following a second-place finish behind Adam Peaty in their semi-final, while Bishops matriculant Michael Houlie, sixth in the same race, produced a personal best 1:01.47. That left him in 10th spot overall and missing out on the final but the teenager was elated with his first Commonwealth Games.
Women’s 100m Backstroke, Heats: Nathania van Niekerk swam up to expectations, with an almost identical time to her entry time. She clocked 1:02.81 to place sixth in her heat but, importantly, allowed her to squeeze into the top 16 and a place in the semi-finals.
Just missing out was Mariella Venter, who produced a 1:03.79 swim, also for sixth in her heat, to leave her one position outside the semis. She won’t be happy with her performance, given she had come into the Games with a 1:01.71.
Semi-finals: Nathania van Niekerk missed out on a place in the final after finishing eighth in her semi-final in a time of 1:03.06.
Men’s 400m Individual Medley, Heats: There were only 10 entries for this demanding event, and they were split into two heats, with the fastest eight times overall qualifying for the final. Ayrton Sweeney had no problems doing just that, an impressive second (4:18.08) behind Australia’s Clyde Lewis. It was the faster of the two heats and Sweeney must fancy his medal chances.
Luan Grobbelaar just turned 16 on 16 March and is competing in his first major senior championship. He arrived in Australia with a best of 4:22.58 and although he finished at the back of a small five-man field in 4:22.77 and didn’t qualify for the finals, he will have learned enormously from the experience.
Final: Ayrton Sweeney missed out on a medal in his first major championship final, clocking 4:17.79 to finish fourth, in a race won by Australia’s Clyde Lewis in 4:13.12. Sweeney was 3.37 seconds off the bronze medal position.
Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay: Chad le Clos has earmarked a medal from Team SA in this event, but given his workload he was rested for the morning heats. Only 12 countries entered for the 4×100 and it was always on the cards that Team SA, without Le Clos, would reach the final. Which they did – thanks to Jarryd Baxter (51.00), Ryan Coetzee (50.47), Calvyn Justus (49.67) and Eben Vorster (50.36). Not much should be read into times in relay heats, but for what it’s worth Team SA clocked 3:21.50 to qualify seventh fastest overall behind Australia, a Games record 3:12.72.
Men’s 50m Butterfly Final:  GOLD! Chad le Clos left the blocks last but powered to the wall first to win gold in 23.37, getting the better of Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago, while Ryan Coetzee’s fairytale Games continued with the bronze in 23.73, for his first Major medal.
Women’s 50m Breaststroke, Final: Tatyana Schoenmaker produced the fastest breaststroke one lap of her life to finish fourth in the final, her time of 30.82 being an African record and 0.01 sec faster than the time Penny Heyns set in Australia in 1999. Schoenmaker’s favourite event is the 200m, where she’s a real medal candidate.
Men’s 200m Freestyle, Final: Chad le Clos was back on the blocks in what seemed little more than the blink of an eye, following his 50m butterfly gold, and the ensuing medal ceremony and national anthem. He started off fast, leading the field through the 50m and halfway (100m) marks before two big finals in 20 minutes took their toll on him and he faded in the last 100m to finish seventh in 1:47.46.
Men’s 4x100m Freestyle, Final: South Africa placed sixth in a final predictably won by Australia, who were just short of their Games record of the heats. The Aussies stopped the clock in 3:12.96. Team SA timed 3:17.27. Calvin Justus started off with a 49.98, followed by Chad le Clos, who made up huge ground to take South Africa into third at halfway, with a 47.97 leg that was the second fastest of the final. Brad Tandy (49.36) and Ryan Coetzee (49.96) then brought Team SA home.

Women’s 58kg: Johanni Taljaard ended a respectable ninth in this division with a total of 171kg. The 33-year-old Western Cape athlete lifted 78 in the snatch and 93 in the clean and jerk. The competition saw 15 lifters start and the winning total was claimed by Australia’s Tia-Clair Toomey (201kg).

Summaries compiled by Gary Lemke and Mark Etheridge, on behalf of Team SA

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Gold Coast 2018 – Day 1

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Team South Africa were involved in a busy day of opening action at the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast on Thursday. Here’s a quick glance to see how they fared – and of course, the highlight was Henri Schoeman’s triathlon gold.

Mixed team competition: 
South Africa lost 5-0 to a powerful Australian outfit. Prakash Vijayanath went down 2-0 to Anthony Joe in the men’s singles while the women’s singles saw Johanita Scholtz beaten by the same margin against Wendy Hsuan-Yu. In the doubles, the SA men’s players Cameron Coetzer and Tuks player Bongani van Bodenstein lost 2-0 to Matthew Chau and Sawan Serasinghe (also 2-0). Michelle Butler-Emmett teamed up with Dubai-based Elmé de Villiers in the women’s doubles and they lost 2-0 to Setyana Mapasa and Granya SomervilleIn the mixed doubles it was yet another 2-0 defeat as Vijayanath and Butler-Emmett lost to Serasinghe and Mapasa. Going into this fixture and national coach Stewart Carson knew what they were up against: ‘The Aussie women’s doubles are ranked 22nd in the world and they have a full-time training centre down in Melbourne.’

Women’s Singles, Section A, Round 2:
 Colleen Piketh won her match against Catherine Beattie of Northern Ireland, 21-13
Men’s Triples, Section A, Round 2: South Africa’s trio of Gerald Baker, Rudi Jacobs, Morgan Muvhan were on the wrong side of a 22-6 result against Wales, to lose their opening game.
Mixed B2/B3 Pairs, Section A, Round 1: Lead Princess Schroeder and director Graham Ward and skip Philippus Walker and Johanna van Rooyen went down 23-6 to host nation Australia. Women’s Fours, Section C, Round 1: South Africa, made up of Elma Davis, Esme Kruger, Nicolene Neal, Johanna Snyman) beat northern neighbours Zambia 17-10.
Men’s B6/B7/B8 Triples, Section A, Round 1: South Africa (Tobias Botha, Willem Viljoen, Christopher Patton) shared the spoils with England as the score ended all square at 13-13.
Men’s Pairs, Section B, Round 2: The South Africa combination of  Petrus Breitenbach, Jason Evans) overcame Wales in a narrow 17-15 win after being 17-8 up at one stage.
Women’s Fours, Section C, Round 2: Elma Davis, Esme Kruger, Nicolene Neal, Johanna Snyman) combined to post South Africa’s second drawn match of the day as they shared the spoils (10-10) with little Norfolk Island, population less than 2000 in a 2016 census.

Women’s 4000m team pursuit:
 This was the first time South Africa had entered a women’s team track pursuit outfit at Commonwealth Games  and the combination of Ilze Bole, Charlene du Preez, Adelia Neethling and Elfriede Wolfaardt ended sixth of seven teams in qualifying. In a qualifying round dominated by Australia (a Games record 4min 17.218sec), they managed to beat India. Importantly, the also smashed the old South African record of 5:22:417 when they broke the 5min barrier with a time of 4:51.224.
Men’s 4000m team pursuit: The SA men’s side ended sixth of eight teams as New Zealand were disqualified. Like their female counterparts, the combination of Steve Van Heerden, David Maree, Nolan Hoffman and Gert Fouche also rewrote the record books. They beat the old mark of 4:18.194 set in Glasgow as they rode a time of 4:11.711. Fastest to the final were Australia (also in a Games record of 3:52:041. Code manager Ricky Kulsen will be proud of the fact that although neither team progressed to the final they at least showed that they are getting quicker and quicker.

Women’s Pool A: South Africa lost 2-0 to pool favourites England, conceding a goal in each of the first two quarters.
Men’s Pool A: Down 3-0 after just 14 minutes, South Africa fought back well but lost 2-4 to Scotland in their opening game. Captain Tim Drummond (field goal) and Gareth Heyns (penalty corner) got the SA goals.

Women’s Final: Gillian Sanders, two-time Commonwealth Games competitor, ended 15th, 6min 16sec behind winner Flora Duffy of Bermuda.
Simone Ackermann finished 18th, +9:03 back after taking a tumble just one lap into the bike leg.

Men’s Final: GOLD! Henri Schoeman added Commonwealth gold to his Olympic bronze with a convincing win in 52min 31sec, slacking off down the blue carpet to savour victory but still seven seconds clear of fast-finishing local favourite Jake Birtwhistle. Richard Murray, bronze medallist at the Glasgow Games four years ago, had to settle for sixth, 33sec back after giving his all in the chasing group on the bike.Wian Sullwald, former world youth champion, said he was still suffering from illness and ended 20th, +3:39 back.

Women’s 400m Individual Medley: Marlies Ross. The 20-year-old clocked 4:55.30 to finish sixth in her heat and failed to progress to the final.
Men’s 400m freestyle: Brent Szurdoki. The 21-year-old timed 3:56.40, to finish fifth in his heat and 10th overall, missing out on the final. ‘Not what I wanted, but no excuses. I’m looking forward to the 1500m, which is my favourite.’
Eben Vorster. The 20-year-old clocked 3:56.82, a personal best, to finish sixth in his heat and 11th overall, missing out on the final. ‘I was very nervous, but am happy,’ he said.
Women’s 200m freestyle: Duné Coetzee. The 15-year-old finished fifth in her heat in 2:04.15, for 14th place overall. ‘This is my first senior championships. I wasn’t nervous, just excited, but it’s two seconds off my PB, so I can’t say I’m that happy with that part of things.’
Kristen Bellingan. The 20-year-old took 0.36 seconds off her SB to clock 2.04.37 for fifth in her heat and 15th overall.
Ross finished sixth in her heat in 2:08.29, five seconds off her entry time, to place 17th overall.
Men’s 50m butterfly
Heats: Chad le Clos finished second in his heat to gold medal favourite Ben Proud, but the Englishman was disqualified. That left Le Clos, with a 23.53, the fastest qualifier headed into the semi-finals.
Ryan Coetzee was the first to dip under 24 sec when he won his heat in 23.94. That placed him third overall heading into the semi-finals.
Brad Tandy finished third behind Coetzee in his heat in 24.41, which placed him 10th fastest overall to qualify for the semi-finals.
Semi-finals: Le Clos and Coetzee, who have been training together, finished first and second in their semi-final, the faster of the two, to go into the final with huge confidence. Le Clos timed 23.53, the same as the morning, while Coetzee clocked a PB 23.79. Tandy finished sixth in his semi in 24.35 and missed out on the final.

Women’s 50m breaststroke: Tatjana Schoenmaker finished second in her heat, in 30.92, which was an African record, and shaved 0.52 seconds off her entry time. She qualified third fastest into the semi-finals.
Kaylene Corbett finished sixth in her heat in 32.51, for 17th overall.
Emile Visagie finished seventh in her heat, in 32.73, for 18th overall.
Semi-final: Schoenmaker was slightly off her African record swim from the morning, but she still clocked 31.01, which was fast enough to see her into Friday’s final.

Women’s 100m butterfly: Erin Gallagher finished third in her heat in 59.25, with Duné Coetzee seventh in the same race in 1:02.03. Gallagher qualified for the semi-finals, eighth fastest, while Coetzee finished 17th and missed out on the semis.
Semi-final: Gallagher produced a 59.04 which left her one place short of reaching the final, finishing ninth fastest.

Men’s 100m backstroke: Martin Binedell finished fourth in his heat in 56.37. That left him 12th fastest overall and qualified him for the semi-finals.
Calvyn Justus finished fourth in his heat in 55.69, which left in 10th fastest overall and qualified him for the semi-finals.
Semi-finals: In his semi-final Binedell finished seventh in 56.91 to miss out on the final, while Justus cut a bitterly disappointed figure as he clocked a personal best 55.25 to finish fifth in the first semi, but placed ninth, with the cut for the final being the top eight.

Men’s 200m breaststroke: Ayrton Sweeney finished fourth in his heat in 2:13.27, for ninth overall and missing the final.
Luan Grobbelaar finished sixth in his heat in 2:18.90 for 11th overall and missing the final.

Women’s 4x100m freestyle, Final: Team South Africa finished fifth in 3:46.04, in a race won by Australia who produced the first world record of these Games in winning gold in 3:309.05.

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Fresh & Hungry – Georgia Nel

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Catching up motivated and brilliant young swimmer Georgia Nel. Although she is fairly new in the swimming arena, she is doing extremely well and is resolved to give it her all.  She says “I am a young lady who will give 101% at whatever I do. I hope to be someone who inspires many and makes a difference in this world, small or big”.

About success in life she says “A successful person is not always someone who achieves something that the whole world knows about, a successful person is a person who achieves THEIR extraordinary in life. If a snail takes the whole day to cross a garden, it has still done something extraordinary by its own standard. I define success not by if you’re wealthy or pre-eminent but by the amount of joy you produce in accomplishing YOUR aim or purpose”.


Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Georgia Nel
Nick Name George/ Porge/ Captain Muffin
Date of birth 23 July 2002
Place of birth Constantiaburg Hospital, Cape Town
Current City Cape Town
Height 183cm/ 6.03ft
Weight 68kg
Shoe Size 10/ 11
Club Swimlab Aquatic Academy Wynberg (SAAW)
Coach’s Name Hilton Slack
Out of Country events/ meets Cana zone ||| swimming championships in Kigali, Rwanda
Secondary Sport/ sports Gym (Occasionally love to play tennis)
Favorite City Paris (Never Been)
Favorite Song/ type of music EVERYTHING! I love music!
Favorite Movie Aristocats (Old and animated)
School & Grade Herschel Girls School, Grade 10
Sponsors TYR
Twitter and Instagram names, Facebook name Instagram: Georgia.nel7 (Don’t have Facebook or Twitter)
Community / church projects involved in FISH (Faith in serving him) club at school, chapel services and divinity lessons.
Parents Names, siblings Dad’s name is Jeremy, Mom’s name is Annette, Brother’s name is Jordan and my Twin sister’s name is Olivia.

Q: You are passionate and doing so well in your Swimming tell me a little bit about how you started in Swimming and your journey in the Swimming arena up to now?

When I was younger, I mostly swam to get fit for water polo, as it was my chosen sport at the time. The first major gala I did was in 2011 where I swam a Level 1 swimming gala in Oudshoorn when I was 9. After that I took an extremely long break from swimming, as I HATED it. I would cry before every swimming practice and didn’t swim another gala until Level 2 in March 2016. For all those years, all I did was play water polo and the ONLY swimming I did was to keep ‘fit’ for water polo, whereas Olivia was still swimming competitively at the time. I did reasonably well at the Level 2 gala and later on got chosen for the South African team to head up to Rwanda and experience their facilities based on my results at Level 2’s. I had a blast up there, as I swooped up 11 medals and especially since I missed the last 2 exams of term 4. I then carried on to 2017 where I qualified for Junior Nationals and just slipped in a qualifying time for the 200m free for Youth Nationals. By this time, we (Olivia and I) made the hardest decision of our lives. Water polo or swimming? We trusted each other and we set our goals high to carry on competing in the swimming arena. It was the best decision of our lives so far we have NEVER regretted it since. By the end of Senior and Junior Nationals, Olivia and I managed to get into the South African Junior Elite Squad. We carried on training with a few other smaller galas’ throughout 2017 and then SA short course came along, where I posted most, if not all of my best times. One of these times was a 56.90 for the 100m freestyle coming 3rd to Erin Gallagher (my sister from another mister) and Olivia (my sister from the same mister). Another one of these times was a 1.04.45 in the 100m IM where I came 2nd to the stunning Nathania Van Niekerk. The rest of the year was mostly just a lot of fun where I sadly was sick before Commonwealth trials and didn’t have the best meet, but if everything was perfect, it wouldn’t be called life. 2018 is finally here and I’m excited to find out what it holds for me.

Q: Who are you? Describe yourself as a person.

I am a young lady who will give 101% at whatever I do. I hope to be someone who inspires many and makes a difference in this world, small or big.


Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in Swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?

The highest accolade I’ve ever achieved in swimming is beating my twin sister in the 200m freestyle at Western Cape Short Course Championships and therefore this is also my greatest personal achievement in my life. 😉 Haha, only joking, my greatest personal accomplishment is yet to come…

Q: What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

“Take a cement tablet and harden up.” – My Dad.

Q: What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?

My biggest challenge is being away from my dog, Monty and the way I deal with this challenge is just to look at my photo album of him.

Q: So, you are a brilliant swimmer and academic – but name 1 thing that you suck at 🙂

Living without my twin.

Q: Do you want share a little on your faith journey so far?

My faith journey is simple. I’ve grown up in a Christian household where God has always been the center of my life. My parents introduced me to him and my school has connected me with him. My two favorite quotes from the bible are, “Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:14, because if you ever wish to accomplish anything in life, you must be dedicated and committed to what you want to do, and to carry on being dedicated you must LOVE what you do! The other one is, “Have patience, God isn’t finished yet.” – Philippians 1:6.  This is so true, and this quote relates to me so much, because I am a bit of a late developer and I honestly cannot wait to see what God has planned for me in the future.

Q: What are you most grateful for in your life at the moment?

My dog.

Q: In your opinion, what is the value of Education in a young person’s life?

Education arms you with the tools to become inquisitive and a desire to learn and become the best possible person you can be. I feel as if my school, Herschel Girls High School, has definitely already equipped me with these qualities and I cant wait for my last 2 years at this outstandingly amazing institution.

Q: How do you currently manage to balance all the things in your life?

I am very diligent with my time management and have learnt to get things done as soon as I receive the task. This is a very important skill to have mastered for the future in anyone’s life. I love my school  (Herschel Girls) and swimming, and therefore it is easy to manage my busy life, as I love what I do every step of the way.

Q: How do you define success in life / How do you define a successful person?

A successful person is not always someone who achieves something that the whole world knows about, a successful person is a person who achieves THEIR extraordinary in life. If a snail takes the whole day to cross a garden, it has still done something extraordinary by its own standard. I define success not by if you’re wealthy or pre-eminent but by the amount of joy you produce in accomplishing YOUR aim or purpose.

Q: What’s your WHY ?  Why do you do what you do?

I want to be the best person I can be and the only way I can do that is to work hard at what I love the most. And the example I want to set for the one’s coming after me is to make the best of the opportunities and you are given AND ALWAYS TAKE THE OPPORTUNITIES YOU ARE GIVEN. If I did not take the opportunity to go to Rwanda (which I initially was not going to) I would have most likely stopped swimming and would not be where I am today, and I am so grateful for my awesome parents for helping me make the decision to grab this amazing opportunity with both hands and got for it. Also to give back to the sport that has made you great by either coaching or being a mentor to carry on the legacy of your hard work.

Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!

Home Interviews Sports Swimming

Fresh & Hungry – Olivia Nel

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Wonderful to experience the journey of one of SA’s brilliant young athletes –  Olivia Nel. She speaks with compassion and much wisdom of her experience in the sports and life arena. Previously a Water Polo champ she has but recently joined the swimming family and is already making waves.

About herself she says: “I am a young, independent and very confident woman. I always love a sense of humor from everyone, and I am also very dedicated and hard working in everything I do. I will give my best in any task or obstacle that I face in life. I’m a very loving and welcoming girl, and I absolutely love helping other people”.




  • Name and Surname: Olivia Nel
  • Nickname: Livi
  • Date of birth: 23 July 2002
  • Place of birth: Cape Town
  • Current city: Cape Town
  • Height: 185m / 6.09ft
  • Weight: 69-71kg
  • Shoe size: UK 10
  • Club: Wynberg Swimlab Aquatic Academy
  • Coach’s name: Hilton Slack
  • Out of country events/meets: Junior World Championships in Indianapolis (2017) and Junior Africa Championships in Egypt (2017)
  • Secondary sport/sports: Gym (I also love running)
  • Favorite city: Aspen / Austin Texas – America
  • Favorite song/type of music: French music/mainstream songs/ motivational and chilled
  • Favorite movie: Kingsman
  • School and grade: Herschel girls school grade 10
  • Sponsors: Arena Swimwear
  • Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name: Instagram= Olivia.Nel10 (I don’t have facebook and twitter)
  • Website: — none —
  • Community / church projects involved in: Faith Club at school + chapel services + divinity lessons + part of DARG (animal) charity
  • Parents names, siblings: Mom-Annette ; Dad-Jeremy ; Brother-Jordan ; Twin sister-Georgia

Q: You are passionate and doing so well in your Swimming tell me a little bit about how you started in Swimming and your journey in the Swimming arena up to now?

I was a little 10 year old youngster when I started swimming, but that wasn’t proper training as it was for waterpolo fitness so I only swam about once or twice a week. The prep school that I went to had waterpolo as one of their main sports so that was my focus and at that stage and I preferred waterpolo to swimming. I started swimming competitively at the age of 11 when I swam my first level one in Oudshoorn and things escalated from there when I won the 50 and 100 freestyle, it was then when I found my passion for swimming. I’ve always focused more on waterpolo especially when we traveled to America for a waterpolo camp in Malibu with US Olympic coach Terry Schroeder. At that stage I realized my love for the sport and stopped competing in the swimming arena for the whole of 2015 to focus on waterpolo. My parents never forced me to do anything so I realised on my own that swimming came very naturally for me, when I qualified for Junior African champs in Egypt off waterpolo training in 2017 and set the 50 and 100 free SA age group records at age 13 and 14 and at age 15 I set the SA age group record for 50 free. Therefore I only stared competing properly again in 2016 when I was 13 years old. Making and going on an international tour was an experience that I truly learnt from, and as I knew my dedication for swimming had to be uplifted, my love for waterpolo very slowly started to fade. I was selected to represent South Africa at another international tour to the World Junior Swimming Champs in Indianapolis, which was very exciting for me and a huge learning curve. My swim training naturally had increased tremendously at that point. I eventually realized that racing at such a high level and achieving at top standards was going to take a lot of strength and determination, so after a tough decision, I stopped waterpolo only in the middle of grade 9 when I was 14. It was not an easy decision although I could not manage doing both waterpolo and swimming training, matches and galas effectively, as both coaches wanted me to attend every practice. I am still happy I had done a team sport as it kept me versatile in what I wanted to do, although in the swimming field I felt so much love and support from my family and friends and especially my local idols such as SA sprint champion, Erin Gallagher, who has been an incredible and inspirational mentor to me. I just absolutely love racing against her, as she is always so supportive. It gives me new innovative ways to approach my training and improve to the higher levels. She is a hard working and dedicated person with the sweetest personality, which I absolutely adore. And there are one or two international heroes to me such as Sarah Sjostrom and Simone Manual, whom I also got the privilege of meeting in America. As my waterpolo journey has ended, swimming is now my main focus and I am ecstatic to see what the future holds for me, as I am still a young 15 year old. My most important focus right now is to never give up and always do the best I can in every training session so I can work towards each and every one of my goals and achieve them with greatness.

Q: You are part of a twin – how are you experiencing this in the swimming arena?

I absolutely love having a twin. We often say to each other that we honestly don’t know what we would do without the other… as you can tell we are very close. We spend a lot of time with one another and in terms of swimming we both have our competitive sides flaring, although we also love racing against each other. In terms of swimming I have more of a passion for sprinting short distances whereas Georgia loves the middle distance races, which she is currently very strong at! In and outside the pool we will always be best friends no matter what, hence one will always see us walking together, wearing the same clothes or doing the same things even though we do have many differences. We stay as close as possible at all times and greatly support each other in every situation. We are always there for one another no matter what.

Q: Who are you? Describe yourself as a person.

I am a young, independent and very confident woman. I always love a sense of humor from everyone, and I am also very dedicated and hard working in everything I do. I will give my best in any task or obstacle that I face in life. I’m a very loving and welcoming girl, and I absolutely love helping other people.

Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in Swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?

Representing team South Africa at the Junior World Swimming Championships in Indianapolis last year, making the SA Junior Elite squad, breaking the 50 free age group record for 3 years in a row and the 100 free for 2 years, and lastly, qualifying for the Commonwealth Games in the 50 free at age 15.

Q: Beside your swimming what do you have a passion for?

Running, Biology, Art, friends and being in the ocean.

Q: Tell me one thing about yourself that the world does not know J?

I’m a very fast runner. If I did not swim, it would be my dream to be an Olympic runner! I’m left handed and I spend my free time drawing. I’m good with kids, and according to my coach, Hilton, I’m verrrry cheeky :-). I also love my school – Herschel Girls.

Q: So, you are a brilliant swimmer and academic – but name 1 thing that you suck at 🙂

According to my mother, I’m often slightly forgetful 😉

Q: Do you want share a little on your faith journey so far?

I always put God first in my life along with my family. I pray often and attend many Christian events at school. Being honest, I do not go to church very often, although I read my bible and have a ‘Daily Devotions’ book that I read most nights. I often go to Divinity at school and I am also part of a faith club. I know I can ask God for help at any time in my life and I strive to praise his name high. Glory to God.

Q: What are you most grateful for in your life at the moment?

All the love and support I get from my family and friends and especially my Coach, Hilton Slack, and having God in my life to help me deal with every situation. I absolutely adore my swimming friends, and they are part of the reason that I love this sport so much, and find it easy to train for so many hours every day.

Q: In your opinion, how do you define success in life / how do you define a successful person?

Each person has their own journey to success. Success is not what society defines as being “acceptable” or “amazing” compared to other people. One cannot define success as a comparison to others, its what you make of it. Success can be big or small, but if you try hard and you put the work in with dedication and discipline, your achievement will be successful.

Q: What’s your WHY ?  Why do you do what you do?

People often ask me why I would want to train for hours on end staring at a black line in the water and why I put myself through it. It’s not about that; I do it because I love it! I only do what I love in life, and what makes my happy is all the hard work, dedication and fight put into the sport. I love the competitiveness that comes along with it, and I love achieving MY success knowing that I have done the work. I am obviously working for the next Olympics in 2020. It is very important to be an amazing role model to the youth, as they will be following and taking action by your standards and by the things you say. Always have a kind and open heart and the youth will eventually make their way up to greatness! The most important thing I can tell you about this sport called swimming… HAVE FUN! Don’t do it if you hate it, if you have fun you’ll carry on and achieve and when you start achieving, life can only escalate from there. 🙂

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

Focus on plan A, but always have a plan B.

Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!

Home Interviews Proudly South African Sports Wrestling

Gold Coast 2018 -Johannes Petrus Botha

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Hanru Botha is proudly part of Team SA who will represent our beautiful nation at the Commonwealth Games 2018 at the Gold Coast in the code of  wrestling. He speaks with gratefulness and honour about his selection and is eager to represent South Africa. Hanru is a born champion and has been training with “Coach Dad” since the age of 3. His has very high standards of excellence and hard work. He gives back to society by inspiring and training the next generation of wrestling champions.

About himself he says “I am a loyal and a hard worker. I want to be a role model for the children I am coaching and want to set an example for young wrestlers. Work ethics is important to me and hard work always pays off”.





Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Johannes Petrus Botha
Nick Name Hanru
Date of birth 9 October 1989
Place of birth Pretoria
Current City Naboomspruit
Height 1.75m
Weight 76kg
Shoe Size UK9
Club Brave Wrestling
Coach’s Name Rudi Botha
Out of Country events Africa Wrestling Champs
Secondary Sports MMA
Favorite City DURBAN
Sponsors PrimalFit
Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name Hanru Botha
Parents Names, siblings Rudi Botha(Father), Pierre Botha(Identical Twin Brother)


Q: Firstly – you are proudly part of team SA selected for the Gold coast Commonwealth Games. Congrats! What is on your heart and mind right now regarding this big upcoming event?

It is a huge privilege, to wrestle on this level, and I want to make the country proud.

Q: You are passionate and doing so well in your Wrestling, tell me a little bit about how you started in Wrestling and your journey in the Wrestling arena up to now?

I wrestle since I was 3 years old and work hard my whole life. Due to funding, I could not always use the opportunities I had as it is expensive to travel and most wrestling is up North in Africa or Europe. The times that I had the opportunity, I medaled.

Q: Who are you? 

I am a loyal and a hard worker. I want to be a role model for the children I am coaching and want to set an example for young wrestlers. Work ethics is important to me and hard work always pays off.

Photo credits: Hansie Myburgh

Q: Why do you have so much respect for your coach?

My Dad is my Coach and unfortunately he does not allow any space for errors (Lol). He made us train on Christmas days as he used to say “while other people rest you train and they will never catch up again.”

Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in Wrestling, and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?

I was Africa Champ 2007 in Tunisia as a Junior and also a silver medalist on Africa Seniors 2016.

Q: Who inspired you when you were much younger and why?

Bennie Labuschagne was a Springbok Wrestler when as  I was around 10 years old and he set an example, and still does.

Q: Would you like to share a little bit more about your faith journey and how it has affected your life / sports?

Wrestling is not a sport, it is a way of living. It taught me respect for others, discipline and to fight for what you believe in.

Q: So, you are a brilliant sportsman – but name 1 thing that you suck at 🙂.

Live English interviews(lol).

Q: Favourite food and who must cook it ? ?

Braai, my Mom Ashley is the best braaier.

Q: How do you currently manage to balance all the aspects and expectations in your life?

Planning, planning. My family and friends at my club help a lot and also make this possible.

Q: What is your favourite quote?

My quote,  “It is not how good you are, it is how bad you want it”.

Q: What is your definition of success in life?

Believe in yourself.

Q: What’s your WHY? 

I do not drink or smoke, and are proud of my body. I like to show people, what wrestling did for me in my life. To see the small kids train, and getting better, do what I teach them, this is satisfaction that you cannot explain to others. The bond between wrestlers is special, and this sentiment is all over the world. I have been in Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, if you are a wrestler, you share something common with all Nations.

Q: What are you most grateful for at the moment?

I am most grateful for having a Dad like mine. He stands by me, lose or win, as long as I work hard, he will share the disappointments and then we rebuild again. It is actually scary as he coached me since I was three, he will sometimes just make eye contact while I am busy wrestling and I will exactly know what my next move must be. There is a bond between us and I am very grateful for somebody like him.

Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!

Home Interviews Sports Swimming

Fresh & Hungry – Chanté Cornelius

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The wisdom, insight and clarity of vision of our youth so clearly shines through this brilliant young swimmer Chanté Cornelius. She is grounded in Christ, she is strong in her swimming but also has the depth of vision that life goes beyond sport and that relationships and time to care about others is just as important. She is proudly the twin sister to Nathasha Cornelius.

She brings energy and quality to her team and says “I am a 16 year old girl who puts all my faith in God. I am hard on myself and expect excellence from everyone around me. I enjoy life and seize the moments of happiness given in everyday stuff”.


Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Chanté Cornelius
Nick Name
Date of birth 8 November 2001
Place of birth Pretoria
Current City Pretoria
Height 1,69m
Weight 60kg
Shoe Size 6
Club Pretoria Aquatic Club
Coach’s Name Eugene da Ponte
Out of Country events/ meets Gholfinos Sprint Gala
Secondary Sport/ sports I used to play hockey
Favorite City San Fransisco
Favorite Song/ type of music Let me go – Hailee Steinfeld
Favorite Movie The Choice
School & Grade Die Hoërskool Menlopark – grade 11
Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name Instagram – @chante.cor
Parents Names, siblings Father – Richard

Mother – Dalene

Brother – Jean-Michael

Twin Sister – Natasha


Q: You are passionate and doing so well in your Swimming tell me a little bit about how you started in Swimming and your journey in the Swimming arena up to now?

In grade 1 everyone had to take part in the Inter-house swimming trials. I made the team and the swimming coach told my parents that I had talent.  My parents then took me for extra swimming lessons with Eugene, my current coach. He has helped me grow in my swimming and I can gladly say, if it weren’t for his input, hard work and dedication, I would not be where I am today.

Q: Who are you? Describe yourself as a person.

I am a 16 year old girl who puts all my faith in God. I am hard on myself and expect excellence from everyone around me. I enjoy life and seize the moments of happiness given in everyday stuff.

Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in Swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment in swimming was when I won a gold medal in 50 fly at Junior Nationals in 2017. I was very happy with my bronze in 100 fly too.

My biggest personal accomplishment was when I came 4th in 100 fly at SA Short Course in 2017.  Personal accomplishment would definitely be the moment I realized the blessing to be one of a twin..

Q: What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

My mom always tells me – always be kind, no matter what.

Q: What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?

Being myself, because in today’s social society and what the media prompts from you, it is difficult not to lose the real you.  I stay grounded by socializing with friends with the same values and morals I believe in.  Listen to good advice and follow my heart.

Q: So, you are a brilliant swimmer and academic – but name 1 thing that you suck at 🙂

Playing video games ….. and running fast.

Q: Do you want to  share a little on your faith journey so far?

God has been good to me across my swimming career; talent is not the only requirement to be successful in any sport, cultural or academic field.  You also need dedication, good attitude and people who believe in you as much as you believe in yourself. I am truly blessed to have all of the above.  And the fact that I have not had any injuries that caused me to not be able to train.

Q: What are you most grateful for in your life at the moment?

I am most grateful for a loving and supporting family that always has my back. I am also very grateful for my friends that stuck by my side.  I am ultimately grateful for a loving God.

Q: In your opinion, how do you define success in life?

Success to me is when someone sets a goal and gives their best to achieve it. A successful person is one who achieves their goals and ultimately lives their goals and dreams to the fullest.  One that does not give up, a person that gives nothing less than their best, whether they achieve their goal or not, if they learnt something while giving their excellence, then it is a success.

Q: What’s your WHY?  

Swimming has become part of who I am, and I see it as a learning school as well as a tool to make dreams a reality, it forms a great part of my being.  I swim because I enjoy it and through living a dream I learn many life lessons.

The example I want to set for others is to never give up, always stay true to yourself and to always give your best.

Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!


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