South Africa's Wenda Nel reacts after placing third in the women's 400m hurdles final at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Thursday. Photo: AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein
South Africa's Wenda Nel reacts after placing third in the women's 400m hurdles final at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Thursday. Photo: AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein
Gold medallist Samuel Gaze (centre) and silver medallist Anton Cooper, both of New Zealand, stand on the podium with Hatherly (right). Photo: REUTERS/Paul Childs
Gold medallist Samuel Gaze (centre) and silver medallist Anton Cooper, both of New Zealand, stand on the podium with Hatherly (right). Photo: REUTERS/Paul Childs

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa produced an early medal rush at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on Thursday, mostly in the form of silver and bronze.

Hard-working one-lap hurdler Wenda Nel was finally rewarded for her years of perseverance winning the bronze medal.

Nel took it out fast in the 400m hurdles final, but lost some steam as she approached the second last hurdle and hung on for third place with a time of 54.96 seconds.

Jamaican Janieve Russell surged over the home straight crossing the line in 54.33 with Eilidh Doyle bagging silver in 54.80.

“I just raced for that line and I didn’t immediately know if I was on the podium until I saw the result,” Nel said.

“I went out very hard, that was the plan, I wanted to push my body and see what I am capable of.”

World Under-23 Mountain Bike silver medallist Alan Hatherly produced an impressive performance to bag South Africa’s first medal in the event, claiming the bronze.

Hatherly was still in for a shot at the first or second place but he could not keep up with the Kiwi pair of Samual Gaze and Anton Cooper, who won gold and silver and gold respectively.

Wrestler Johannes Botha’s hopes of winning gold in the 74-kilogram category were short-lived, with former world champion Sushil Kumar of India outclassing the South African to win his third consecutive title.

Botha competes against Nigeria's Ebimienfaghe Assizecourt on Thursday. Photo: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Botha nevertheless walked away with a silver medal to give South Africa’s its first wrestling gong at the Gold Coast Games.

Earlier lawn bowls trio Christopher Patton, Tobias Botha and Willem Viljoen beat England 16-13 to win the B6/B7/B8 triples bronze medal.

IOL Sport

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