Johannebsurg - South Africa’s lawn bowls team led the way on Sunday as the nation picked up two gold medals and two silvers on the seventh day of competition at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India.
Both the men’s and women’s triples teams defeated Australia as South Africa remained fifth on the medals table with a tally of 11 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze.
The women’s trips side, consisting of Susanna Steyn, Tracy-Lee Botha and Susan Nel, won a tie-break 4-3 to beat Australia in the final.
After winning the first set 9-6 and going down 8-4 in the second, the South Africans held their nerve, going 3-0 up in the first end of the tie-break and clinching gold.
The men’s trio were made to fight hard, winning the first set 8-7 and losing the second 7-6.
They dominated the tie-break, however, securing a 6-0 win as South Africa bagged the first two bowls gold medals on offer at the Games.
Defending 400m hurdles champion LJ van Zyl and Olympic wrestler Heinrich Barnes both racked up silver medals.
Van Zyl was second coming off the final bend and managed to close the gap on David Greene of Wales going over the last hurdle. But he faltered with his last few strides and the Welshman hung on for gold in 48.52 seconds.
Van Zyl, who ran perhaps his best race of the season, was second in 48.63.
Barnes, a collegiate All American at Oregon State University, went down 7-0 to world champion Sushil Kumar in the men’s 66kg freestyle final.
Another South African wrestler, Gerald Meyer, lost 4-1 to Nigeria’s Andrew Dick in the 84kg freestyle bronze medal match.
Carla Swart, who placed eighth, and Cherise Taylor, 10th, did well to finish with the peloton in the women’s 112km cycling road race, but did not feature in a sprint finish won by Australian Rochelle Gilmore in 2:49.30.
Johann Rabie, more than four minutes off the pace in 17th position, was the best of the South Africans in the men’s 168km road race.
Australian Allan Davis won a three-way sprint in 3:49.48.