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Tatjana Schoenmaker breaks world record to bag SA’s first Olympic gold medal

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Tatjana Schoenmaker scooped South Africa’s first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games as she won the women’s 200m breaststroke in a world record on Friday morning.

Schoenmaker screamed with delight when she caught sight of her two-minute 18.95 second mark, the first individual world record of this gala, and wept with joy as she was congratulated by the American silver and bronze medallists, Lilly King and Annie Lazor, and her fifth-placed Tuks teammate Kaylene Corbett. 

King, in lane two, set the early pace and had the lead at the halfway mark, but Schoenmaker remained steadfast in executing her strategy, reeling in the American on the third lap and then pushing for the win and dipping under 2:19.00 for the first time in history.

The 24-year-old South African smashed the 2:19.11 world record held by Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen since 2013.

King was second in 2:19.92 and Lazor third in 2:20.84. Corbett, fourth-quickest in the heats and semifinals, was fifth in a 2:22.06 personal best.

Schoenmaker, who took the 100m breaststroke silver on Tuesday, is only the tenth South African to have won multiple medals at a single Games, and the fourth since readmission, after Penny Heyns (Atlanta 1996), Roland Schoeman (Athens 2004) and Chad Le Clos, who achieved it twice (London 2012 and Rio 2016).

Speaking after the race, she said her goal at the Olympics was to just try her best and hopefully make the final.

“If I could just make the final, that was what I said since I started coming, to make the final is already an amazing achievement.

“I was lucky to have my teammate (Kaylene Corbett) there. We were all two, too — two Americans, two British, two South Africans (in the final) – so it was just amazing to have that teammate there.” – Business Day

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Cricket

Khaka’s heroics save the day for Proteas

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A brilliant spell from Ayabonga Khaka has helped South Africa escape with a hard-fought 32-run victory over a gallant Bangladesh in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in Dunedin on Saturday.

Khaka’s match-winning four for 32 included a spell of three wickets in nine balls as she put the clamps on Bangladesh’s batting line-up and ensured her side were able to defend a modest total of 207.

Openers Shamima Sultana (28) and Sharmin Akhter (34) had given Bangladesh a perfect start as they reached 69 without loss, but Khaka’s timely intervention reduced the score to 72 for three with wickets falling in quick succession as the required run-rate continued to rise.

Skipper Nigar Sultana (29) and Ritu Moni (27) tried to use their experience to get Bangladesh back in it, but Shabnim Ismail (1/33) and Masabata Klaas (2/36) returned to the crease with the ball as the Proteas held on.

Earlier, Fariha Trisna was the pick of the Bangladesh bowlers with three for 35 while Jahanara Alam and Ritu Moni stood out with two wickets apiece as Bangladesh excelled in their first-ever match at a 50-over World Cup.

All-rounder Marizanne Kapp top-scored for South Africa with 42, while opener Laura Wolvaardt (41) and the dangerous Chloe Tryon (39) also got starts as the Proteas badly missed the big-hitting of veteran batter Lizelle Lee.

South African skipper Sune Luus was dismissed in unlucky circumstances, with the ball deflecting off Rumana Ahmed’s fingers and on to the stumps at the non-striker’s end.

The Proteas were all out in the final over for 207, but that proved enough as Khaka’s inspirational spell and some valuable experience made sure there was no fairytale World Cup debut for Bangladesh. – ICC

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Rugby

Cheetahs stay perfect with Pumas victory

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The Cheetahs continued with their unbeaten run as they scored three tries en route to a convincing victory over the Pumas in Nelspruit on Saturday.

A dominant second-half performance gave them a 28-17 win.

The Cheetahs made the trip from Bloemfontein looking to make it three wins from three in their Currie Cup campaign.

It was, however, the hosts who put the first points on the board from the boot of flyhalf Eddie Fouche in the second minute.

The visitors drew level two minutes later after veteran Ruan Pienaar kicked a penalty to open his side’s account.

Two tries followed, by Gideon van der Merwe and Clayton Blommetjies, to stretch the Cheetahs’ lead – good reward for ambitious and slick attacking play.

After appearing to be shell-shocked in the opening 20 minutes, the Pumas started to find their feet.

They counter-punched and managed to win three penalties, all duly converted by Fouche, to inch their way back into the contest.

At half time the score read 15-12 to the visitors.

The second half continued the trend of Cheetahs dominance.

Louis van der Westhuizen scored five minutes after the break, with Pienaar adding the extras to stretch the Cheetahs’ lead to 10 points.

The Pumas hit back with a try of their own through Eduan Swart to keep them in the contest.

However, ultimately it would prove insufficient as the Cheetahs continued to turn the screws.

Two more penalties by Ruan Pienaar and a long-distance effort from Frans Steyn put the result beyond doubt. – SA Rugby Mag

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Rugby

CUT names new rugby head coach

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Staff Reporter

The Central University of Technology (CUT) has named Braam van Straaten as head coach of the Free State institution’s rugby team.

A statement from the university says Van Straaten, who turns 50 next week, boasts a wealth of experience which includes stints at international level with the Wallabies (Australia), Bermuda and Namibia as well as in Super Rugby with the Western Force (Australia), the Sharks and the Southern Kings.

According to the club vice-chairperson, André Pawson, the CUT Ixias will again be in excellent hands with the experienced coach in charge.

“We are super excited having Braam van Straaten at the steer of our rugby on campus,” Pawson is quoted as saying in the statement.

“He is an excellent coach, with a superb track record as general, defence and kicking coach, from provincial to international level.

“We are confident that Van Straaten will continue taking the CUT to even higher heights than we enjoyed over the last five years.”

CUT is expected to announce the rest of the rugby team’s coaching support staff soon.

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