6 events where SA nearly won more Rio medals

2016-08-25 20:25
Akani Simbine (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Team South Africa's medal tally at the end of the Rio 2016 Games stood at 10, which proved to be significant as it tied our previous best at a single Olympics, matching the 10 won in 1920 in Antwerp and 1952 in Helsinki.

Team SA ended 30th on the medal table with 2 golds, 6 silvers and 2 bronze medals.

South Africa's most successful sporting code was athletics, with four medals, while swimming came second with three.

But believe it or not, South Africa could’ve bagged more than 10 medals at the Rio Games!

Six events where South Africa could've had more medals at the Olympic Games:

Akani Simbine

Soon after South Africa’s newest athletic sensation Wayde van Niekerk smashed the world record and took gold in the 400m, the men’s 100m final was about to commence.

Simbine lined up in lane 3 alongside the likes of James Gatlin, Yohan Blake, Andre De Grasse and Usain Bolt.

Simbine became the first South African man to make it into an Olympic 100m final in 84 years - since Danie Joubert in 1932 Los Angeles Games.

The 22-year-old South African posted a time of 9.94 to finish fifth.

He was 0.01 seconds behind fourth-placed Blake and 0.03 seconds away from bronze medallist, De Grasse.

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Simbine will be 27-years-old and with no Bolt and Gatlin in the field, he will definitely be a medal hopeful.

Rowing - Lightweight double sculls

In the men’s lightweight double sculls, South Africa’s James Thompson and John Smith, were favoured to win a medal in the race.

However it was not to be, as the South African duo failed to reach the podium, 0.19 seconds away from the Norwegian bronze medallists with a time of 6:33:29.

Surprisingly enough, Thompson and Smith finished with the fastest time overall in the lightweight double sculls, after crossing the finish line in 6:23:10 in their heat.

Rowing - coxless four

The four South Africans - David Hunt, Jonty Smith, Vincent Breet and Jake Green - finished fourth in the men’s coxless four with a time of 6:05:80.

They were 0.195 seconds behind the Italian team, who won the bronze medal.

It was a tight race and the team was inches away from the podium.

Chad le Clos

South Africa’s golden boy of 2012 was looking to dominate in the swimming pool. He did to some extent, but it also came with some disappointing results.

Although Le Clos came home with two silver medals, he nearly got another in the men’s 200m butterfly.

As the defending champion, Le Clos looked a near certainty for a medal, but it was not to be, as the 24-year-old finished fourth in a time of 1:54.06, as Michael Phelps got his revenge and took gold.

Richard Murray

Murray missed a podium position by a whisker, as his compatriot Henri Schoeman took the bronze.

The 27-year-old came only 49 seconds behind gold medallist Alistair Brownlee of Great Britain and only seven seconds behind Schoeman.

Louis Meintjes

Following his impressive eighth place finish overall at the 2016 Tour de France, Meintjes continued his impressive performances by finishing seventh in the men’s individual cycling road race in a time of 6:10:27.

He was 22 seconds behind gold medallist Greg van Avermaet and 12 seconds behind Rafal Majka who claimed bronze.

Meintjes finished ahead of Tour de France title winner Chris Froome and runner-up Romain Bardet.

The 24-year-old had the best ever finish by a South African in this Olympic event and if he continues his success, he will be a rider to watch out for in Tokyo.

All images: Getty, Gallo and Photo by ©Christiaan Kotze/SASPA

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