The Morning Session at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, proved a tough day at the office for Team South Africa. The netball team recorded its second win from four matches in Pool A, beating Wales 69-51.
However, due to transportation issues, a South African swimmer team failed to make it to the venue and Team SA, therefore, did not have a men’s 4X100m medley team.
On the athletics track, qualifying also proved difficult but Jonathan Ntutu advanced to the men’s T12 100 metres final.
Team South Africa’s medal quest on day six of the Games began in the pool, with the men’s 200m individual medley. Looking to advance to the final were Matthew Sates, Andrew Ross and Guy Brooks.
While Brooks did not make it to the blocks of heat four, his countrymen Sates and Ross did not fare too well either, both failing to progress out of the heat stage.
The 18-year-old Sates finished fourth in his heat, and Ross fifth, both finishing outside the slowest qualifying mark of 2 minutes 1.44 seconds.
There was a mixed bag of results for their Female compatriots in their respective 400 metres freestyle heats. Michaela Pulford and Trinity Hearne finished 6th and 7th respectively, too slow to confirm a lane in the final.
2018 Youth Olympic Games silver medallist in Buenos Aires, Dune Coetzee, had the swim of her life. Her time of 4 minutes 14.92 seconds was good enough to secure her lane 8 in the final of the same event.
The morning session of Track and Field events was also a tough one for Team South Africa. With a season-best time of 1 minute 44.59 seconds, Tshepo Tshite was almost certain to make the final of the men’s 800 metres.
When his race started, the 3-time South African champion positioned himself at the front of the pack and looked comfortable enough for the first 600 metres.
But coming home and over the last 150 metres, his efforts were thwarted and he eventually finished fourth in his heat in a time of 1 minute 49.82 seconds.
The fastest heat time was more than 3 seconds off Tshite’s season’s best, while he was a full second behind qualifying for Sunday’s final.
Ndodomzi Ntutu rescued the day with an outstanding performance in the men’s T12 100m semi-finals. Ntutu, with a personal best time of 10.80 seconds is the fastest South African Paralympian.
He was close to beating that time in his heat. He finished in 10.89 seconds and looks set to successfully defend the title he won at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.