Glasgow, Scotland – South Africa bagged their first gold of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow when Herman Scholtz and Gyndolene Nel outplayed the host nation 14-10 in the para mixed pairs visually impaired competition.
It wasn't all plain sailing for the pairing, who worked with their directors, Geoff Newcombe and Annatjie van Rooyen.
“Before the game I said, 'this is what we came to Scotland for. We're going to play the team and the crowd',” said Newcombe.
“At 10-10 we thought it was slipping away but we knew we could do it. They have big match temperament. It was a fantastic achievement.”
Nel put the duo three up going into the fourth end, giving them a commanding position.
“She played brilliantly. We knew we just had to cover and everything would be done,” said Scholtz.
“We played well during the round-robin stage and definitely thought we had a chance, but we knew it would be tough.”
Nel said: “I think the Commonwealth Games gold is the most important medal. I have many but I wanted this one after playing for 40 years.”
The bronze went to Australia, who beat New Zealand 14-11.
This is the first lawn bowls medal of the Games, and the first gold for Team SA, but the bowls squad are quietly working their way through the preliminary rounds and are expected to bring more as they move into the final rounds from Sunday.
South Africa have a realistic chance of bagging more gold medals on Saturday with Ruan Snyman (+100kg) and Zack Pointek (90kg) competing in the judo finals, Cameron van der Burgh taking part in the 100m breaststroke final and Sebastian Rousseau, Chad le Clos and Dylan Bosch competing in the 200m butterfly. – Sapa