Johannesburg - The South African lawn bowls team provided the only medal on the eighth day of competition, but the nation nonetheless held on to fifth place on the medals table at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India on Monday.
Shaun Addinall and Gerald Baker defeated the England duo of Stuart Airey and Merv King to secure gold in a thrilling men’s pairs final.
South Africa got off to a magnificent start, leading 8-0 after six ends, and while England fought back, Addinall and Baker held on to win the first set 8-7.
The tables turned in the second, with England tearing ahead to a 9-0 lead after three ends.
However, the South Africans managed to recover, earning nine points from the last two ends as they held on to draw the set 13-13 and win the match 21-20.
It was South Africa’s 12th gold of the Games to go with 11 silver and nine bronze for a total of 32 medals.
The Sevens rugby team dominated Pool B, easily defeating Tonga (29-0) and India (59-0) before capping a superb first round performance with a convincing 21-5 win over Wales.
The playoffs will be held on Tuesday, with South Africa set to face Scotland in the quarter-finals.
The women’s hockey team will play England for the bronze medal on Wednesday after going down 1-0 to New Zealand in the semifinals.
Jennifer Wilson scored in the 53rd minute to secure victory for the New Zealanders who will face Australia in the final.
South Africa’s netball team ended sixth after losing 59-47 to Namibia in the fifth place playoff.
And defending women’s discus throw champion Elizna Naude had a disappointing end to a season plagued by injuries, finishing seventh in the final with a fifth-round throw of 57.61 metres.
Krishna Poonia led an Indian clean sweep of the medals with a 61.51m first round heave to clinch a historic victory.
It was the host nation’s first athletics gold medal at the Games in 52 years.
Lawn bowls results:
Women's Pairs - Gold medal match
England bt Malaysia 12-6, 5-7, 5-2 (tie-break)
Men's Pairs - Gold medal match
South Africa bt England 8-7, 13-13