The 2018 Commonwealth Games came to an end on Sunday 15 April, after two weeks of entertaining competition. Team South Africa finished sixth overall on the medals table, behind hosts Australia, England, Canada, India and New Zealand. Our team had big wins in the pool, the sprints and middle-distance running, but had a surprising non-podium finish in rugby.
Earning a total 37 medals, including 13 gold, 11 silver and 13 bronze medals, Team SA touched down in Johannesburg last Monday 16 April with the pride of the nation. With 14 medals in athletics and 12 in swimming, team South Africa improved on their 7th placing in Glasgow 2014.
Caster Semenya lit up the track on the Gold Coast with double gold in the women’s 800m and 1500m. Semenya clocked 1:56.68 for the 800m, setting a new Games record after opening up a big gap on Kenyan rival Margaret Wambui, who took silver in 1:58.07.
“We had a great off-season. The build-up was great and we had a lot of long runs, so we knew where we were,” Semenya said. “With the experience we have, we’re more mature. It has been almost 10 years running 800m, so for us it’s quite easy to run 800m and 1 500m, but 1 500m is the hardest because it’s beyond the distance I usually do.”
In the pool, the pick of the bunch had to go to Chad le Clos, who took home a fantastic five medals, three of them gold. Particulalry impressive for Le Clos was his 50m butterfly win over Dylan Carter from Trinidad and Tobago, whom he beat by 0.30 seconds in a time of 23.37. Carter took silver in a time of 23.67, while fellow South African Ryan Coetzee took bronze in a time of 23.73.
The national men’s 4x100m relay team closed out the SA athletics contingent’s campaign in style on Saturday, taking the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. The quartet, consisting of Henricho Bruintjies, Emile Erasmus, Anaso Jobodwana and Akani Simbine took second place in 38.24 seconds to break the SA record of 38.35 which had been set in the final of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The final day of the games saw the most disappointing result for Team South Africa, when the Team SA Men’s Rugby Seven’s side failed to place on the final day. After losing out to eventual silver medalists, Fiji, Team SA went down to England in the Bronze final to finish fourth overall. This was particularly shocking, considering the fact that Team SA were the defending champions, and have put together a string of solid performances all last year and this year on the World Series circuit.
Overall, however, Team South Africa returned home with an improved position on the medals table from the previous games, and looked strong throughout the games. For the full list of SA’s medal winners, see below:
South African Medal Winners:
- Akani SIMBINE: Men’s 100m – Gold
- Luvo MANYONGA: Men’s Long Jump – Gold
- Ndodomzi NTUTU (T12): Men’s T12 100m – Gold
- Caster SEMENYA: Women’s 1500m – Gold; Women’s 800m – Gold
- Henricho BRUINTJIES: Men’s 100m – Silver
- South Africa: Men’s 4 x 100m Relay – Silver
- Hilton LANGENHOVEN (T12): Men’s T12 100m – Silver
- Dyan BUIS (T38): Men’s T38 100m – Silver
- Reinhardt HAMMAN (F38): Men’s F38 Shot Put –Bronze
- Ruswahl SAMAAI: Men’s Long Jump – Bronze
- Charl DU TOIT (T37): Men’s T38 100m – Bronze
- Wenda NEL: Women’s 400m Hurdles – Bronze
- Sunette VILJOEN: Women’s Javelin Throw – Bronze
- Alan HATHERLY: Men’s Cross-country – Bronze
- Clint HENDRICKS: Men’s Road Race – Bronze
- South Africa: Women’s Fours – Silver
- South Africa: Women’s Pairs – Silver
- South Africa: Mixed B2/B3 Pairs – Silver
- South Africa: Open B6/B7/B8 Triples – Bronze
- Colleen PIKETH: Women’s Singles – Bronze
- Chad LE CLOS: Men’s 100m Butterfly – Gold; Men’s 200m Butterfly – Gold; Men’s 50m Butterfly – Gold; Men’s 100m Freestyle – Silver
- Cameron VAN DER BURGH: Men’s 50m Breaststroke – Gold; Men’s 100m Breaststroke – Bronze
- Tatjana SCHOENMAKER: Women’s 100m Breaststroke – Gold; Women’s 200m Breaststroke – Gold
- Bradley TANDY: Men’s 50m Freestyle – Silver
- Christian SADIE (S7): Men’s S7 50m Freestyle – Silver
- South Africa: Men’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay – Bronze
- Ryan COETZEE: Men’s 50m Butterfly – Bronze
- Henri SCHOEMAN: Men’s Triathlon – Gold
- Mona PRETORIUS: Women’s 63kg – Bronze
- Martin ERASMUS: Men’s Freestyle 97 kg – Gold
- Johannes BOTHA: Men’s Freestyle 74 kg – Silver