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First two silver medals for SA at Universiade


TAIPEI, TAIWAN – Team South Africa registers a spot on the medal log after bagging two silver medals in swimming and athletics respectively.

What has been a tough few days of competition, has ended in triumph for the University of Pretoria (Tuks) student Tatjana Schoenmaker who bagged the first medal for Team South Africa in the women’s 200m breaststroke final.

The silver medalist’s competition schedule started earlier this week when she competed for top glory in the women’s 100m breaststroke event and after finishing top two in both her qualifying heat and semi-final round, which she completed in a time of 1:07.77, she was outclassed by two Japanese swimmers and American swimmer, and finished the race in position four with a time of 1:07.44.

Schoenmaker had a score to settle with the 200m breaststroke event, and yet again qualified for the semi-final with the second fastest time. Japanese swimmer Kanako Watanabe narrowly edged Schoenmaker in the final with a time of 2:24.15, while Schoenmaker finished in a time of 2:24.61 to claim the first 29th Summer Universiade medal for Team South Africa.

Earlier this year Schoenmaker, broke what was coined by The Citizen, as the ’women’s swimming drought’ after becoming the first South African woman in three years to qualify for a major international championship, in this the Fina World Championships that took place in Budapest last month.

Shortly after Schoenmaker’s achievement, South Africa’s very own 100m sprinter and fellow University of Pretoria student, Thando Roto bagged the country’s second silver medal in the men’s 100m final.

Roto only fell short of gold by 0.02 with a time of 10.24, behind Chinese Taipei’s Yang Chun-Han, who had the support of his home crowd. South African athletes continue to do well in the 100m event at the Universiade with Akani Simbine currently holding the Universiade record of 9.97 at the games.

The twenty-two year old qualified in the first round of the men’s 100m with a time of 10.51 and in round two at 10.35. He only got better in the final and admits he could have come out better on the starting blocks. But now he has a silver medal to add to his slowly growing cabinet.

Roto set his 9.95 personal best at the Gauteng North Championships in March 2017 and improved after falling short in London a few days ago. The up-coming star said he grasps his inspiration from himself, his mother and coach.

“If I executed a better race I would have been top, but I’m quite happy with my performance. I am so proud that I could do this for my country,” said Roto. The Tuks student hopes to grow from strength to strength after this win. He now looks forward to the 4x100m men’s relay race with South African team mates on Sunday, 27 August 2017, 05h00 am CAT.

And if today couldn’t get better for Team South Africa, the women’s football team has secured their spot in the semi-finals after holding the United States of America to a 0-1 victory after South African midfielder Biyana Kholosa scored the only goal of the game in the 73rd minute.

The women’s team beat Great Britain 1-3 and lost 1-0 to Russia in Group D of the pool stages to qualify for the quarter-finals that took place this evening.

South Africa will play against Japan in the semi-finals, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 27 August 2017, 13h30 CAT. SA played a friendly match against the Japanese ahead of the start of the tournament which ended in a 1-all draw.

Team South Africa currently sits on the 35th position on the medal log.

Remember that live stream Summer Universiade games and events online on: https://livestream.com/fisu



Posted by Nqobile Gama and Kimara Singh on 25 Aug, 2017.
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