16 AUGUST 2016
Ho happy with another top 10 finish at the Olympics
By Mark Etheridge
South Africa’s Chad Ho notched up his second top 10 finish at an Olympic open water swimming event as he came in just five seconds behind the winner at Fort Copacabana on Tuesday.
That 10th-placed finish will go very nicely thank-you, with his ninth spot at the Beijing Olympics eight years ago. Ho clocked 1hr 53min 04.8sec – behind winner Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands after 10km of duelling. Earlier, the two were the last pair of swimmers out of the call room before a bemused early-morning crowd of joggers, dog walkers and early sun worshippers on the world-famous beach.
Story of the race was that it could have been one of the all-time stories of open water swimming as Aussie Jarrod Poort was off and away, perhaps in search of an early sip of popular cocktail caipirinha on the beach, the choice of many early morning beach-goers.
Team SA open-water coach, Cedric Finch and national swimming coach Graham Hill were both part of the onlookers and were in unanimous agreement that Poort had done a ‘runner’ and wouldn’t be caught.
Now SA’s women get into the swing
South Africa’s Ashleigh Simon and Paula Reto are among the world’s top women golfers set to take the Olympic stage on Wednesday. A field of 60 competitors in the women’s golf competition will be seeking to follow in the footsteps of American Margaret Abbott, who won the gold medal in Paris in 1900.
Like Adilson da Silva in the men’s competition, the host nation’s Miriam Nagl will hit the opening tee shot at 7.30am in the company of Irish amateur Leona Maguire and Kelly Tan of Malaysia. Nagl’s drive will mark the return of women’s golf as an Olympic sport after an absence of 116 years. South Africa’s Paula Reto will hit South Africa’s first shot at 7.52am.
Reto is teeing off with Nicole Broch Larsen from Denmark – the Ladies European Tour Player of the Year in 2015 – and last year’s US Women’s Open Championship winner Chun In Gee from South Korea.
How Team SA fared on Tuesday
There were four codes representing Team SA on Tuesday. Here is a rundown of how they finished. All times are local and SA times are in brackets.
Men’s 10km open water marathon: Chad Ho placed 10th after producing a strong finish, coming home only five seconds behind the winner and two seconds off the bronze medal.
In a nutshell: The Australian Jarrod Poort set a strong pace, swimming alone out front virtually from the start. By the first split, at 2.5km, he’d pulled out a 58 second lead over the chasing pack, led by Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli. At that stage Ho was amongst a group and timed 64sec behind Poort, in 15th. By halfway Poort had stretched 76 seconds clear in a brave attempt to swim the 10km virtually on his own. Marc-Antonie Olivier of France was now leading the chasers with Ho 20th, 87 seconds back. At the 7.5km marker Poort still led by 40 seconds, and Mellouli had got himself at the front of the group going after him. Then, the Australian seemed to make an error and went too far past a marker and the gap closed, rapidly. He was swallowed up by the pack in the chase home and slipped to 20th overall, 40 seconds back. Ferry Weertman, of the Netherlands, came through strongest of the chasers, while Ho finished just as strongly, closing the gap quickly. It was a remarkable comeback by the South African and he placed 10th in a photo finish in 1:53.04.8, exactly five seconds off Weertman. He was 2.8sec off the bronze position. GL
Men’s 200m heat 2: Anaso Jobodwana, the world championship bronze medallist, finished fourth in his heat, in 20.53. He failed to make it through the heats. Bruno Hortelano (20.12) led home Yohan Blake (20.13) with Ameer Webb (20.31) third. Jobodwana showed up well around the bend from lane three, but faded inside the last 40m.
Men’s 200m, heat 4: Gift Leotlea finished fourth in his heat, in 20.59 and he failed to make it through the heats. He had come to Rio with a season’s best 20.47.
Men’s 200m, heat 6: Clarence Munyai, running in lane 8, finished strongly for third in his heat, in 20.66. He failed to make it through the heats. He had come to Rio with a season’s best 20.36.
Women’s javelin, qualifying: Sunette Viljoen came, launched and left with a firstthrow of 63.54 metres which gained her automatic qualification into the final. Benchmark was 63.00m or at least the best 12 throwers. She’ll be more than happy to take that forward.
Women’s 400m hurdles semi-finals: Wenda Nel ended sixth in heat three with a time of 55.83 so failed to make it through to the final, well off her season’s best of 54.47sec.
Women’s long jump, qualifying: Lynique Prinsloo ended with a jump of 6.10m to finish 16th of 19 competitors in Group B. Leader of the pack was Brittney Reese of the United States with a 6.78. Automatic qualifying was set at a minimum 6.75 or the 12 best finishers. Top qualifier was Ivana Spanovic of Croatia with a 6.87m effort.
Men’s 400m hurdles semi-finals: LJ van Zyl ended fifth in heat two of three with a time of 49.00 seconds on the button. He needed a top two-spot in the semi to get the automatic spot. Looking good until the last stages, he was passed by a host of runners in the last 50m. He would have had to run 0.15sec quicker as one of the fastest qualifiers to get through.
Women’s K1 200m B-Final: Bridgitte Hartley finished fifth in the race, with a time of 42.066sec. The winner was Hungary’s Natasha Douchev-Janic in 41.673
Men’s 470 class, Races nine and 10: Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson wrapped up with an 18th and 23rd spot which earned them 20th spot overall after around a week of extremely hard racing.