Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Sprinters grab silvers as SA focus turns from the pool to the track

Team SA also earned bronze medals in mountain bike cycling and lawn bowls.

Sprinters Akani Simbine and Charl du Toit secured the first medals for the South African track and field team on Wednesday night, grabbing silver in their respective 100m finals at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Simbine, the defending champion, crossed the line in 10.13 seconds to fill the second step on the podium in the men’s 100m dash. African record holder Ferdinand Omanyala of Kenya won gold in 10.02.

Former Paralympic champion Du Toit took the runner-up spot in the men’s 100m T37/38 final in 11.54. Evan O’Hanlon of Australia won gold in 11.23, setting a Games record.

Earlier on the track, Dom Scott-Efurd took seventh place in the women’s 10 000m final in 31:25.18.

Bronze medals

Elsewhere, though the national team’s successful swimming campaign fizzled to a tame close, other codes came to the party, keeping the medal count ticking over.

Mountainbike cyclist Candice Lill took advantage of a small line-up of eight riders in the women’s cross country race, grabbing the bronze medal.

Lill completed the 34.17km race in third place in 1:36:12, with Evie Richards of England securing victory in 1:34:59 and Zoe Cuthbert of Australia taking silver in 1:35:46.

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Lawn bowlers Victoria van der Merwe and Desiree Levin also stepped on the podium.

Competing in the para women’s pairs B6-8 playoffs, the duo beat England’s Michelle White and Gillian Platt 16-7 to secure bronze.

On the final day of competition in the pool, the SA women’s 4x100m medley relay team – Rebecca Meder, Lara van Niekerk, Erin Gallagher and Aimee Canny – took fourth position in the final, missing out on a medal by just 0.19.

Rebecca Meder settled for eighth place in the women’s 50m backstroke final in 28.69 and Dune Coetzee was eighth in the 400m freestyle in 4:15.53.

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Elsewhere, the country’s badminton players kept their hopes alive with some impressive performances across the board.

Deidre Jordaan and Johanita Scholtz earned a 2-0 win over Eleni Christoloudou and Eva Kattirtzi of Cyprus in the women’s doubles round of 32, while Caden Kakora defeated Ben Charter of the Falkland Islands 2-0 in the men’s singles round of 64 and Jordaan beat Justine Naluwooza of Uganda 2-0 in the women’s singles round of 64.

On the netball court, the Proteas earned their second win of the Games, wrapping up a 69-51 victory over Wales in their penultimate Pool A clash.

They were nonetheless set to be relegated to the classification playoffs, as even a win over Scotland in their last pool fixture on Thursday would not be enough to reach the semifinals, following defeats to Australia and Jamaica earlier in the tournament.

After six days of competition, the SA team were lying sixth in the overall standings with 20 medals (six gold, seven silver and seven bronze).

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Akani Simbine athletics Commonwealth Games

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