The Momentum Proteas ended their Commonwealth Games campaign with a massive 10-wicket win over Sri Lanka at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham on Thursday. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late for the South African Women’s team to go on to compete for a medal.

Both nations went into the match with zero chance to progress to the semi-finals, after going winless in their first two respective matches against New Zealand and England.

Coming off an ODI and T20 series whitewash against England ahead of the Commonwealth Games, fighting for silverware was always a tough ask. However, they made sure to wrap up their time in Birmingham with some wonderful memories.

A ruthless performance

After winning the toss and choosing to bowl first, South Africa soon had Sri Lanka’s ladies on the ropes. Shabnim Ismail dismissed Hasini Perera with the very first ball of the innings. Masabata Klaas then got rid of Harshitha Samarawickrama cheaply in the second over of the match before Nadine de Klerk went on the rampage.

De Klerk ended her spell of four overs with figures of three-for-seven, and Klaas two-for-seven in three overs.

That played a massive part in Sri Lanka being bowled out with just 46-runs on the scoreboard.

The Momentum Proteas openers, Anneke Bosch and Tazmin Brits, had little trouble getting to the minuscule total. They scored the winning runs in the seventh over.

“At the end of the day, it’s been a tough tour,” said Momentum Proteas head coach Hilton Moreeng.

“We are very happy with the end result. It shows that the disciplines we wanted to improve finally came through for us.”

“It’s been one of those tours where you get half chances. Some of the chances that we didn’t take swung the game the other way. But, today we were very sharp and spot on regarding that. Each and every game we created enough chances and we didn’t capitalize. That was the difference today”

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Team South Africa has a lot to be happy about this Monday. Our athletes added four gold medals to the tally over the weekend after incredible performances in the swimming pool and on the Rugby field in Birmingham.

It was the teenagers, Lara van Niekerk and Pieter Coetze, who opened South Africa’s account on Saturday.

Leave it to the Teens

The 19-year-old van Niekerk, who has been in significant form this year, powered to a gold medal in the 50-meter Breaststroke final. In the same race, Olympic Champion Tatjana Schoenmaker fell short of a bronze medal.

The 18-year-old Coetze beat out the opposition on his back. It was a tightly contested 100-meter swim in the Backstroke final and he managed to touch the wall 0.13 seconds ahead of England’s Brodie Paul Williams.

The swimmers carried the momentum over to Sunday, where team South Africa won a gold, a silver, and a bronze.

Twelve South African Swimmers, including the Relay swimmers, were featured in the finals last night. Of the twelve, only three could leave the Sandwell Aquatics Centre with silverware.

So Le Clos, yet so far

Chad le Clos was the first to compete for a medal in the 200-meter Butterfly final. The Olympic Champion looked like his old self over three-quarters of the race, but he came up short of a gold medal.

Le Clos was reeled in by the New Zealander, Lewis Clareburt, at the very end.

His Silver medal was the 18th Commonwealth Games medal of his career. That saw him equal the record for most medals at the Games. The 30-year-old South African is tied with two Sport Shooters. Australian Philip Adams and Englishman Mick Gault.

Le Clos will get the opportunity to become the most decorated Commonwealth Games athlete when he lines up in the 100-meter Butterfly.

Tatjana is back on Top

South Africa’s Gold and Bronze medal came in the 200-meter Breaststroke final. Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champion Tatjana Schoenmaker destroyed the competition. The 24-year-old had a nearly two-second gap over her closest rival when she touched the wall for the last time.

In celebrating the win, she was more excited for compatriot Kaylene Corbett, who won her maiden Commonwealth medal after coming in third. Two hundred of a second off a silver medal pace.

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The Magnificent Seven

The weekend was wrapped up in spectacular fashion by the Blitzboks.

The South African Men’s sevens team struggled in the last couple of Sevens Series legs. However, they completely dominated throughout the entire weekend. They conceded only 17-points in the four matches leading up to the final while putting 173-points on the scoreboard.

They continued the trend of ruthless defence and unapologetic attack in the final. Fiji never stood a chance, with the Blitzboks running out 31-7 victors.

That earned the South African sevens team their first Gold medal since the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

 

South Africa at the Games today

Monday 1 August 2022

Swimming

Men’s 50-meter Breaststroke

11:47 Heat 5 – Brenden G Crawford

11:49 Heat 6 – Michael Houlie

 

Women’s 100-meter Freestyle

12:04 Heat 7 – Erin Gallagher + Emma Chelius

12:06 Heat 8 – Aimee Canny

 

Men’s 100-meter Butterfly

12:21 Heat 6 – Matthew Sates

12:24 Heat 7 – Chad le Clos

 

Women’s 200-meter Individual Medley

11:31 Heat 2 – Rebecca Meder

 

Women’s 100-meter Breaststroke

12:39 Heat 2 – Kaylene Corbett

12:42 Heat 3 – Lara van Niekerk

12:45 Heat 4 – Tatjana Schoenmaker

 

Women’s 800-meter Freestyle

13:00 Heat 2 – Michaela Pulford

 

Judo

11:00 – 15:00

Women’s 52kg QF –  Match 16 – Charne Griesel vs Yasmin Javadian NIR

Women’s 57kg QF – Match 19 – Donne Breytenbach vs Lele Nairne ENG

Women’s 48kg QF – Match 20 – Michaela Whitebooi vs TBD

 

Netball

Pool A match 3 of 5

13:00 AUS vs RSA

 

Hockey

Men’s Pool A

15:00 – SCO vs RSA

 

Artistic Gymnastics

Women’s Vault – Final 15:10

Naveen Daries

 

 

Beach Volleyball

Men’s Preliminary Pool B

RSA – Goldschmidt/Williams vs AUS 15:30

 

Lawn Bowls

Para Mixed Pairs Section A Round 2 B2/B3

13:00 RSA vs Wales

Para Mixed Pairs Section A Round 3 B2/B3

17:30 RSA vs ENG

 

Badminton

Mixed Team Quarter Final 4

RSA vs IND 18:30

 

 

 

 

Team South Africa has claimed double gold in swimming at the 2022 Commonwealth Games so far.

Lara van Niekerk claimed South Africa’s first gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games on Saturday as she won the 50m breaststroke final.

Swimming in lane 1, Van Niekerk didn’t have the best of starts, but a superb finish saw her touch the wall in 29.73, a new Games record.

She finished ahead of Imogen Clark (England) in 30.02 and Chelsea Hodges (Australia) in 30.05.

Two other South Africans, Tatjana Schoenmaker, finished fourth with Kaylene Corbett in sixth.

In the men’s 100m backstroke final, Pieter Coetze produced a stunning swim to come home first.

Swimming in lane 4, Coetze powered into the lead and kept his consistency despite a charge by several other competitors.

However, the 18-year-old held on to touch the wall in 53.78 to seal gold for South Africa.

England’s Brodie Williams came second in 53.91, while Australian Bradley Woodward took the bronze medal (54.06).

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South Africa is prepped and ready for the opening of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. An epic opening ceremony is planned to launch proceedings in Birmingham.

Fans will have their sights set on the pyrotechnics, glitzy performers, and spectacular choreography. The Athletes will meanwhile be tuned in and focused on the next day, when the first of the Games will be decided.

For team South Africa, they will be keen to make up for a dismal performance at Tokyo 2020. They will also want to improve on their 37-medals earn at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast of Australia.

A total of 228 South African athletes have descended on England’s West Midlands region with golden aspirations.

Here are some athletes to keep an eye on.

Henri Schoeman

Henri Schoeman in action

The triathlete earned one of the 13-gold medals for team South Africa in the Gold Coast. The now 30-year-old powered through the 750-meter open-water swim, 20-km cycle and 5-km run. Schoeman finishing first with a time of 52 minutes, 31 seconds.

That result got South Africa off to a great start, as that was the first gold on offer, as will be the case tomorrow.

While Schoeman powered to another gold at the 2021 African Triathlon Championships Sharm El Sheikh, another huge effort will be required if he wants to take the top step of the podium.

That Race will start at 14h00.

 

Akani Simbine

Akani Simbine on track

Another 2018 Commonwealth Games Gold medallist, however this time, he will have a point to prove.

Team South Africa has had a dismal run on the track of late. They couldn’t earn a single medal at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 2021, or the 2022 World Championships in Oregon.

Simbine was long tipped to be the athlete who will carry the baton on from Usain Bolt, and while he was a finalist at all three above-mentioned events, he keeps coming up short. He finished fourth in 2019 and 2021, and fifth in Oregon.

His taste for victory is growing, and Birmingham could be the place where he satiates his hunger for gold.

 

Kyle Blignaut

Kyle Blignaut in action in the shot-put event

The six-foot-five, 150 kg 22-year-old will make his Commonwealth Games debut this year, and is set to impress in the Shot Put event.

Blignaut is a IAAF Under 20 World Champion, with the youngster earning a 6th place finish at the 2020 Olympics. He tossed the 7,26kg shot 21-meters, 3,3 meters short of the eventual Gold medallist, American Ryan Crouser.

The Olympian decided to not participate at the World Championship in Oregon this year. He wants to ensure that he is in the best possible shape for Birmingham.

One thing is for sure, he won’t be satisfied with anything less than Gold.

 

 Lara van Niekerk

Lara van Niekerk on the podium

South Africa has always performed in the swimming pool. Thanks to Tatjana Schoenmaker, team South Africa saved face with a solitary golf medal at Tokyo 2020.

Schoenmaker will be one of the athletes that should be on your radar. However, Lara van Niekerk is the one tipped to undercut the Olympic Gold medallist.

The 19-year-old van Niekerk is the Commonwealth Record holder and Worlds bronze medallist in the 50-meter breaststroke. Schoenmaker is the world record holder in the 200-meter breaststroke. The two are set to meet in the middle, in the 100-meter event.

Earlier this year, at the SA National Swimming Championship, Van Niekerk reigned supreme over Schoenmaker in the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke meet. That will make the battle in Birmingham an intriguing one.

 

Matthew Sates

Matthew Sates pool side

Another 19-year-old talent, with a bright future.

He was called the “next Michael Phelps” leading up to his Olympic debut in Tokyo. However, he couldn’t make it through to the final in the two events he featured in. The 200-meter individual medley and the 100-meter butterfly.

Sates finished 14th and 32nd, respectively.

The teenager will make his debut at the Commonwealth games. It will be his 13th high-lever meet since the Olympics.

He has quite the schedule ahead of him. He will feature in the 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle, 4×100 meter freestyle relay, 4×200 meter freestyle relay, 400-meter individual medley, 200-meter individual medley, and 100-meter butterfly.

 

Blitzbokke

Blitzbok, Renaldo Brown running in for a try

When it comes to sevens rugby, a result in your favour is never a sure thing, especially when looking back on results over the past couple of months in the Sevens series.

They were regarded as one of the top contenders to bring home a medal at Tokyo 2020. However, the Blitzbokke fell to a shock 19-14 defeat to Argentina in the Quarter-Final.

Their luck at the Commonwealth Games has been no better. They fell to a 14-21 defeat to England in the match for the bronze Medal on the Gold Coast.

While a preliminary list of players included the likes of Jordan Hendrikse, Manie Libbok and Kurt-Lee Arendse, they eventually missed out on a ticket to Birmingham.

Coach Neil Powell confirmed that they had to have a long list of players six months out from the Games and that you can only select players included in that long list, even if there was an injury.

The Blitzboks open their account on Friday, 29 July 2022, with a meeting against Malaysia, before going up against Tonga later on in the day.

They will play Scotland on Saturday, 30 July 2022 to wrap op the group stage.

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