Blitzbokke sad to leave Glasgow party

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IOL pic july28 sa rugby sevens gold Reuters South Africa's players celebrate with their medals after defeating New Zealand in the final match of the Rugby Sevens at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Picture: Russell Cheyne

Glasgow - South Africa's gold medal-winning Blitzbokke flew out of Glasgow on Monday night with mixed feelings after their triumph over New Zealand in the final on Sunday.

“Some of the guys have Currie Cup commitments so we have no choice. There are some events I would like to see and am going to miss being here in Glasgow when we go home,” Cecil Afrika said of leaving behind the rest of Team South Africa.

“I will definitely be watching the events and be screaming support for the athletes I have met here at the Games.”

South Africa ran out 17-12 winners against the All Black sevens, with Afrika scoring the vital third try to put the game beyond doubt.

“As a team we focused on what we needed to do, and then went out there and performed, but it was good to see how other athletes prepared and how they think about sport and life and how they approached the competitions,” Afrika said.

Afrika says he is hoping to be part of the team in the build-up to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016.

“It's not everyone who gets the chance of a Commonwealth Games gold medal,” said Africa.

“So for me this is up there in the top three and is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Frankie Horn agreed that the value of the Games medal only became apparent over the last two days, as the gravity of the achievement set in.

“We don't really have an Olympic (rugby) culture in South Africa, but I feel that building up to Rio it will gain more and more, but we saw it simply as a rugby match,” Horn said.

“When we played Scotland in the quarter-finals and then New Zealand, the magnitude and support of the crowd made us realise it's much more than that.

“Playing New Zealand in the final was one of the best experiences we've ever had.”

Sapa


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