Not a good day for SA

2004-08-27 19:12

Athens - The day did not start well for the South African contingent at the Olympic Games on Friday.

The men's hockey team went down in a penalty shootout to Great Britain, Duncan Mahlangu lost his taekwondo bout to Guatamalan Gabriel Sagastume on points and wrestler Shaun Williams fell to Bulgarian Velikov Radoslav.

The teams were tied at 1-1 after extra time in the hockey playoff for ninth and 10th places and it all came down to penalties.

The tit-for-tat scoring was upheld until Dave Staniforth saved Niall Stott's shot and with Greg Nicol putting the next in the net, it looked as though South Africa were through

But Wayne Denne totally missed the goal and then Craig Fulton's shot was saved by British keeper Simon Mason as England won the ninth spot classification.

"This was a 50-50 game and I think our defeat had much to do with the midday heat," said SA captain Craig Jackson. "But I'm really proud of the guys for the games we played over the past two weeks."

Mahlangu was beaten on points in his preliminary round of the Taekwondo competition by Sagastume in the under-68kg classification.

Losing the first round seven points to two Sagastume had put three points on the board, when Mahlangu earned a penalty warning.

The referee stopped the match between Radoslav and Williams after the Bulgarian had exceeded the 10 point superiority limit in the freestyle 55kg wresting pool B match.

Williams will now face his other pool B competitor, Zhengyu Li from China, in the Friday evening session.