SA golden girls shine again in pool at Commonwealth Games



South African breaststroke specialists swept the women’s final in Birmingham last night as the national team won four more medals on day five of the commonwealth games.

After winning the 50m breaststroke final Last week, 19-year-old Lara van Niekerk added the 100m crown, taking the win in 1:05.47.

Defending champion Tatjana Schoenmaker, who had already won the 200m titlesettled for second place in the 100m distance in 1:07.05.

Kaylene Corbett, the 200m bronze medalist, was seventh in the 100m final in 1:07.62.

Lara Van Niekerk
Lara van Niekerk en route to victory in the 100m breaststroke final. Photo: Gallo Images

Meanwhile, Pieter Coetze completed an impressive hat-trick, earning a third medal on the backstroke.

After winning the 100m backstroke and taking silver in the 50m final earlier in the Games, I took bronze in the 200m last night in 1:56.77.

Chad le Clos, however, missed very little, where extend one’s memory 18 career Commonwealth medals.

Le Clos finished fourth in the men’s 100m butterfly final in 51.61, touching the wall just 0.21 from a historic podium spot.

Michael Houlie was also just short of the men’s 50m breaststroke final, finishing fourth in 27.36. He was 0.04 behind Scotland’s Ross Murdoch who snatched bronze in 27.32.

In the women’s 800m freestyle final, Michaela Pulford was sixth in 8:44.77, and the SA Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay Team was sixth in 3:51.56.

Medal balls

Elsewhere, the SA women’s bowls fours team won the silver medal.

The national quartet – Thabelo Muvhango, Bridget Calitz, Esme Kruger and Johanna Snyman – lost 17-10 to India in the gold medal qualifier to take second place.

In other sports, Adriaan Wildschutt finished fifth with a strong showing in the men’s 10,000m final, finishing the 25-lap race in 27:41.04 on the opening day of athletics competition.

Discus thrower Yolandi Stander was sixth in the women’s final with a lift of 55.49m and sprinter Sheryl James was seventh in the women’s 100m T37/38 final in 13.68.

Akani Simbine kept her medal hopes alive as she defended her 100m title, going through the first run of the men’s short sprint.

Simbine won her first round heat in 10.10 seconds, advancing to today’s semi-finals.

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Weightlifter Ruben Kruger finished sixth in the men’s 96kg division, lifting a total of 303kg, while artistic gymnasts Naveen Daries (floor exercise) and Shante Koti (beam) finished seventh and eighth in their respective finals .

In team sports, the SA women’s wheelchair basketball team beat Kenya 6-5 in the playoffs to finish sixth, while the women’s national hockey team beat Kenya 15- 0 for his first victory in Pool B, led by Jean-Leigh du Toit who scored five goals.

Proteas struggled again in the Women’s T20 Cricket Tournament, dropping in their second loss in Group B with a 26 run loss to England.

South Africa was in fifth place overall with 16 medals (six gold, five silver and five bronze) after five days of competition at the Games.