JOHANNESBURG - South Africa experienced Monday madness at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games as the country’s swimmers, track athletes and lawn bowlers won a clutch of medals on the fifth day of the quadrennial showpiece.
It was a harvest of medals as the team produced possibly their most successful day in the history of the Games with four gold, three silver and two bronze medals.
By Monday night South Africa had won a total of 18 medals at these Games - including eight golds - to launch them into fifth place on the medals table.
The medal rush occurred within the space of an hour, starting with Cameron van der Burgh’s 50m breaststroke gold and finishing with Akani Simbine and Henricho Bruintjies claiming a one-two in the 100m on the track.
As South Africa’s best performance in the pool drew to a close, the track and field athletes made a storming start to their campaign.
National 100m record-holder Simbine made history and became the country’s first 100m champion at the Commonwealth Games, with Bruintjies finishing second to give South Africa a superb gold-silver haul.
The team won nine medals on Monday, with the swimmers and the athletes contributing four each and bowls quartet Elma Davis Esme Kruger Nicolene Neal and Johanna Snyman winning one.
The day ultimately belonged to the swimmers as they wrapped up the penultimate day in the pool in style, with three gold medals and a silver.
Personally to win the fly treble tonight was one of my best swims ever, thank you to everyone who has helped me get to this point, Truley humbled to be most successful swimmer ever in @GC2018 history 16 medals 🙏🙏🇿🇦🥇 much love everyone 🙏— Chad Le Clos (@chadleclos) April 9, 2018
Chad le Clos became SA's most decorated swimmer of all time by sweeping the butterfly events. He added the 100m butterfly gold to the 50m and the 100m he had won earlier. He has won four medals at the Games, including the 100m freestyle silver to take his total haul over three Games to a shiny 16.
Van der Burgh once again displayed his incredible longevity by winning his third 50m breaststroke gold medal in as many Games by beating world record-holder Adam Peaty of England to the finish.
Newly crowned queen of the pool Tatjana Schoenmaker would leave her maiden Games with the 100m and 200m breaststroke golden double. She won the 100m breaststroke gold medal on Monday, breaking Penny Heyns’s continental record from 1999 with her sterling performance.
The para-athletes also got in on the action, with swimmer Christian Sadie winning silver in the S7 50m freestyle, Dyan Buis clinching silver in the T38 100m and Charl du Toit bronze in the T37 100m on the track.