Sprinters earn silver as SA focus switches from pool to lane

Sprinters Akani Simbine and Charles du Toit took the first medals of the South African track and field team on Wednesday evening, taking silver in their 100m finals. Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Simbine, the reigning champion, crossed the line in 10.13 seconds to take second on the podium in the men’s 100m. African record holder Ferdinand Omañala of Kenya won gold with a score of 10.02.

Former Paralympic champion Du Toit finished second in the men’s T37/38 100m final with a time of 11.54. Evan O’Hanlon of Australia won gold with a time of 11.23, setting a Games record.

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

Bronze medals

Elsewhere, while the national team’s successful swim campaign came to an end, other codes came to the party to keep the medal count going.

Mountain bike racer Candace Lill took advantage of a small eight-rider line-up in the women’s cross-country race to win the bronze medal.

Lill finished the 34.17 km race in third place in 1:36:12, Evie Richards of England won in 1:34:59 and Zoe Cuthbert of Australia won silver in 1:35:46.

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Also on the podium were bowlers Victoria van der Merwe and Desiree Levin.

Competing in the women’s B6-8 play-off doubles, the duo beat England’s Michelle White and Gillian Platt 16-7 to take bronze.

On the final day of the pool competition, the South African women’s 4x100m medley relay team – Rebecca Meder, Lara van Niekerk, Erin Gallagher and Aimee Canny – placed fourth in the final, just 0.19 behind the medal.

Rebecca Meder placed eighth in the women’s 50m backstroke final with a time of 28.69, and Dune Coetzee placed eighth in the 400m freestyle with a time of 4:15.53.

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

Deirdre Jordan and Yohanita Scholz defeated Eleni Christoludou and Eva Kattirzi of Cyprus 2-0 in the women’s doubles round of 16, while Kaden Kakora defeated Ben Charter of the Falkland Islands 2-0 in the men’s singles 1/8 finals. Justine Naluwuza of Uganda 2-0 in women’s singles round of 16.

On the netball court, the Proteas took their second win of the Games, completing a 69–51 victory over Wales in their penultimate Group A match.

However, they had to advance to the classification play-offs as even beating Scotland in their last pool match on Thursday was not enough to qualify for the semi-finals after losses to Australia and Jamaica earlier in the tournament.

After six days of competition, the South African team was sixth overall with 20 medals (six gold, seven silver and seven bronze).