Witness Reporter
3 minute read
3 Aug 2022

Team SA continue hunt for medals in Commonwealth Games

Witness Reporter

Day five mainly belonged to judo's Michaela Whitebooi who won gold for South Africa.

South Africa’s new judo champion Michaela Whitebooi. PHOTO: GALLO IMAGES

Team SA started Tuesday’s fifth day of competition with 12 medals at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham — five golds, three silvers and four bronzes.

But Team SA’s track-and-field athletes have been hit by a number of withdrawals.

Three key athletes, Clarence Munyai, Emile Erasmus (both sprinters) and Kyle Rademeyer (pole vault), were all withdrawn from the team before Tuesday’s start to the track and field after contracting Covid-19. Another Team SA star, Zakhiti Nene, also had symptoms and was to be retested on Tuesday

(before the evening session)

Women’s Group B: South Africa lost by 26 runs to England. Laura Wolvaardt top scored for SA with an unbeaten 41 as the team made 141-4 in reply to England’s 167-5. South Africa have lost both their matches so far.

Women’s Balance beam, final: Shante Koti finished eighth with a score of 10,366 (4,600 for difficulty, 5,766 for execution)
Women’s Floor, final: Naveen Daries finished sixth with a score of 12,200 (4,700 for difficulty, 7,800 for execution, -0,3 penalty)

Women’s Pool B:
South Africa drilled Kenya 15-0 for their second-biggest victory in Commonwealth Games history.

The half-time score was 6-0 and such was the South Africans’ dominance that they opted to play without a goalkeeper for the last seven minutes. They kept scoring in this period while ensuring they did not concede a goal.

Women’s Fours, final:
Silver medal for South Africa. The team of Johanna Snyman, Esme Kruger, Bridgit Calitz and Thabelo Muvhango lost 17-20 to India. The match comprised 15 ends, and India picked up their first bowls gold.

Men’s 96 kg, final:
Ruben Burger finished sixth with a total of 303 (snatch 138 kg; clean and jerk 165 kg)

Men’s 5th/6th place:
South Africa lost 10-7 to Northern Ireland (SA team: Allen Mtatase, Cecil Dumond, Ayabonga Jim, Simanga Mbhele)
Women’s 5th/6th: SA beat Kenya 6-5 (SA team: Aviwe Ngoni, Samkelisiwe Mbatha, Michelle Moganedi, Kelebogile Moeng)

Six more medals came South Africa’s way at the Commonwealth Games on Monday, taking their tally to 12 and leaving them in fifth spot on the table.

The day mainly belonged to judo’s Michaela Whitebooi who won gold, while she had plenty of backup from fellow Team SA medallists spread across three different codes.

Silver medals came the way of Pieter Coetze, who narrowly missed adding gold to his 100 m backstroke title when pipped in the 50 m final, while Etin Gallagher, such a precocious talent over the years, blazed her way to a silver in the women’s 100 m butterfly. She nearly upstaged 17-time Commonwealth Games medallist Emma McKeown.

Elsewhere, medals were secured by Caitlin Rooskrantz, who continued gymnastics’ dream Games when she took the bronze medal in the women’s uneven bars, while Team SA flag bearer Christiaan Sadie swum to the bronze medal in the S7 50m freestyle.

And, for good measure, Charne Griesel (judo 52 kg) won bronze after coming through the repechage and doing it the hard way. For Coetze, the backstroke gold and silver coming at the age of 18 suggests that he is going to become a household name in South African sport.

Whitebooi was tasting her career highlight at the age of 26, but it has always been the plan that we will see the best of her at the 2024 Paris Olympics. She claimed the Commonwealth Games title in the 48kg division by winning three fights in a day.