JOHANNESBURG - The silverware kept rolling in for South Africa at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, lifting the team to fourth place on the medals table.
South Africa have won a total of 26 medals since the start of the Games; with the track and field athletes and para-bowlers adding five more on Wednesday, with one gold, one silver and three bronzes.
The track and field athletes made the biggest contribution with long-jumpers Luvo Manyonga and Ruswahl Samaai bagging gold and silver, respectively.
Javelin queen Sunette Viljoen clinched her fourth straight medal at the Games with a bronze, while para-athlete Reinhardt Hamman won bronze in the men’s F38 shot put.
Lawn bowlers Princess Schreuder and Philippus Walker won South Africa’s only other medal on the day, earning silver in the mixed B2/B3 pairs.
They ultimately bowed the knee to Australia in their gold-medal match.
Directed by Graham Ward and Johanna van Rooyen, the South African duo was slow out of the blocks with the hosts gaining an early advantage.
They managed to claw their way back in what was a low-scoring match.
“It is always a wonderful experience to win a medal for South Africa, especially when you are playing against people that are very gifted like the Australians,” said Walker.
“They are used to this green, but we gave them a lekker go, so it was a wonderful experience to win the silver medal.”
It was an improved performance for South Africa’s men’s hockey team as they claimed their first victory of the Games by beating Canada 2-0.
They had suffered crushing defeats to New Zealand (6-0), Australia (4-0), and Scotland (4-2) before this encounter.
The men will next face Wales on Friday in their 9th/10th-place match while the women’s team will play against Canada to finish the Games in fifth place.
The women’s hockey team will ultimately finish lower than their fourth place from Glasgow 2014 thanks largely to their 1-1 draw with Malaysia.
They lost their opening match 2-0 to England but bounced back in their final pool match, beating Wales 2-0 before losing 1-0 to India.
The Proteas netball team, who suffered massive personnel losses thanks to injuries to their two first-choice goal-shooters, have made up for their early defeats at the Games.
They suffered a 57-46 defeat to Jamaica in their opening match before beating Northern Ireland 49-35 only to suffer a massive 60-38 loss to Australia.
They seem to have recovered well from their early defeats as they went on a rampage against both Fiji and Barbados over the last few days.
They smashed Fiji 92-28 on Tuesday and gave Barbados an 85-25 hiding on Wednesday to give themselves some much-needed confidence for their fifth/sixth-place playoff against Uganda on Thursday.