SA equals Athens performance in 30th Olympics
As the curtain fell on the 30th Olympics of the modern area last night, Team SA left the London 2012 stage with a performance that equalled the feat of Athens 2004 of six medals.
It was the only other time, after Athens 2004, that the team had finished with as many medals post-isolation.
Further hopes were dashed as mountain biker Burry Stander came agonisingly close in the cross-country final, just two places off the medal bracket.
Also yesterday, the South African men’s marathon managed a top 50 finish.
Lusapho April and Stephen Mokoka completed the race at spots 43 and 49 respectively, while Coolboy Ngamole crashed out with less than 10km to go.
Said April: “I slipped when I was trying to get my bottle on the table and I was in the top 10 contention then. I was running with guys the whole way in a comfortable pace until the incident.”
Mokoka was in fifth place at the halfway mark but faded in the closing stages of the race in sunny and hot conditions.
“The tempo just went high in the second half. My target was a 2:06.”
Mokoka, a 10 000m specialist, said running his first Olympic marathon was interesting because “I ran with guys who had 2:03/ 2:04 times”.
Stephen Kiprotich took gold in 2:08.01
» Team SA on Day 16
Men’s marathon: Two of the three runners finished the race and made it into the top 50.
Lusapho April came home in 2:19.00 at 43rd place and Stephen Mokoka followed in 2:19.52 for a 49th spot.
Coolboy Ngamole did not finish.
Cycling – mountain bike
Burry Stander clawed his way back from a 16th place to finish in a credible fifth position in 1:29.37.