AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
SOUTH Africa has won two silver medals for the African continent and they came from water sports.
Tjatjana Schoenmaker won silver in the 100m Breaststroke and Bianca Buitendag, brought home silver in shortboard surfing.
Schoenmaker came second to USA’s Lydia Jacoby who won a shock gold medal in the women’s 100m breaststroke final at only 17 years old.
In her race to silver, Schoenmaker defeated pre-race favourite Lily King, the Rio 2016 Olympic champion – who had to settle for a bronze medal.
Buitendag won her first Olympic silver, with a score of 8.46 and USA’s Carissa Moore won her first Olympic gold medal with an impressive score of 14.93. Moore, a four-time world champion, was the top seed for the event.
Schoenmaker and Buitendag’s achievements followed Tunisian Ahmed Hafnaoui, who won Africa’s first gold medal at the Tokyo Games,
Hafnaoui shocked the swimming world with a stunning victory in the men’s 400m freestyle final. The 18-year-old, who qualified with the slowest time and swam the final in the outside lane, won by 0.16 seconds, with Australia’s Jack McLoughlin taking silver and the USA’s Kieran Smith bronze.
While she lost the Olympic title to Jacoby, Schoemaker retained her Olympic record.
Jacoby’s time of 1:04.95 was marginally slower than Schoenmaker’s Olympic record of 1:04.82, set two days ago in the semi-final.
Africa’s other prospects for medals were boosted with the stunning performance by the Blitzboks Rugby Sevens side, surfer Bianca Buitendag and legendary swimmer Chad le Clois.
Le Clois, who qualified last for the 200m breaststroke final, made up for the poor performance by winning the 200m Butterfly semi-finals.
The Blitzboks’ dream for an Olympics medal ended with a 14-19 defeat to Argentina in the quarterfinals. The Blitzboks went into the semi-finals unbeaten.