Simenya’s class shines through

2016-08-24 06:00

SO the Rio Olympics have run to a close decorated by an abundance of new records in the Games themselves and the usual showering of world best performances as well.

South Africa won 10 medals including two Gold – Caster Simenya (800 metres) and Wayde van Niekerk (400 m). Chad le Clos had to bow to America’s Michael Phelps and settle twice for second place to his US superior.

Van Niekerk is a family boy, which is why he wanted them intimately involved with his Games performance in Rio. For him it was a special joy, and it paid off in spades for him in no uncertain terms.

Simenya’s performance, too, was extra-special, a perfectly judged race.

The way she waited and then with a burst of real pace and style took over the lead for this handsome win must have made up in great measure for all the talk and unhappy drama that have followed the young star, who surely in the years ahead will continue to garner even greater honours.

Hopefully the outside world outside athletics will give her the chance she deserves to show what she is capable of. In this sort of form she will surely run and win many more middle-distance victories and her legend is sure to live on.

Enough for now.

At Durban’s Kingsmead, in the first of a three-Test series against New Zealand, play was abandoned without play on Sunday’s third day due to a heavily wet outfield.

Hashim Amla, with his usual stylish stroke play, scored a typically stylish 53 in 79 minutes in South Africa’s 263 all out .

Temba Bavuma, with a nicely struck 46, and Quinton de Kock, 33, both looked set for more runs when risky shots got the better of them.

Kagiso Rabada, 32 not out, was the only other batsman who looked capable of more when he ran out of partners.

Dale Steyn looked to be back to something like his best form, taking both Kiwi wickets to fall for just 15 runs.

Rugby followers had their hearts in their mouths at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

It looked seriously like this international against Argentina was going to be a repeat of a year ago when the Pumas scored a humbling 37-25 victory over the Springboks in Durban.

With just 10 minutes remaining and the Boks seemingly on the verge of defeat, only two moments of brilliance, inspired by late changes, gave the Boks a new lease of life, as tries by Johan Goosen and Warren Whiteley saved the day.

This was definitely not the ideal start to the international season the Boks and new coach, Allister Coetzee, were looking for. One of the few to show real class for the Boks was scrumhalf Faf de Klerk, whose work rate on attack and defence was out of the top drawer.

The Springboks at the weekend travelled to Salta, Argentina, for the return Rugby Championship game and will need a much improved showing if they hope for another victory over the Pumas. The standard they produced was simply not good enough.

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