Newsdeck, Sport

Rio 2016, live blog day four: Blitzboks kick off their campaign, Le Clos swims 200m fly final

By Daily Maverick Team 9 August 2016

It's another jam-packed day for South Africans at the Olympics. Keep up to date with the action here. Refresh your browser to see the latest updates, all times SAST.

03:52: Reporters in Rio say Le Clos was absolutely shattered and walk right past. As you would be. Everyone was certain he’d get a medal of some sorts. Anyway. That’s where must end our coverage for today. Tomorrow is a full day of Sevens action, but no swimming after the earlier disappointment in the pool. Also, the news from Banyana Banaya’s match against Brazil at half-time is that they’ve managed to hold on for a draw…we wish them luck.

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03:31: Le Clos started pushing hard for the final 50m, but couldn’t hold on and he finishes fourth! The horror. It’s Phelps whose first and of course he’s showing off, signalling the “come at be bro” hand gesture. Well that was disappointing.

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03:30: Le Clos makes a decent start, but he’s not in the top three at the first turn. He’s third on the second turn with Phelps in the lead.

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03:26: Le Clos in lane six…

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03:24: We’re just about ready to go with Chad le Clos vs Michael Phelps. No shadow boxing this time…

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23:56: A quick recap of what happened for South Africans today:

The men’s pair of Lawrence Brittain and Shaun Keeling made it through to the rowing finals. Also in the rowing, David Hunt, Jonathan Smith, Vincent Breet and Jake Green qualified for the men’s fours by winning their repechage.

In the sailing, Stefano Marcia ended 42nd out of 46 boats and it was a disappointing night in the pool for Cameron van der Burgh and Jarred Crous in the men’s 200m breaststroke and the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay team – none of whom managed to progress past their heats.

The Blizbokz bossed it, winning two from two and keeping a clean sheet. Check the report here.

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23:55: We’re signing off for a wee while for now – we’ll be back for Chad le Clos vs #PhelpsFace at 3:28.

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23:50: Tight game between Fiji and Argentina which the World Series champions edge 21-14, but it was much tighter than the scoreline suggest. Argentina could be a surprise package at the Games here. South Africa are the only team to keep a clean sheet twice on day one. Tomorrow is going to be tough. They play Australia.

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23:24: The USA have beaten Brazil 26-0 in the penultimate match of the day.  Two yellow cards in the match (one apiece), but USA were pretty dominant throughout. 

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22:55: New Zealand, who will have to play this Olympics without Sonny Bill Williams, recover from the earlier upset against Japan to beat Kenya quite convincingly 28-5. They aren’t, dare I say, looking like a real medal challenger, though.

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22:21: That was tremendous fun. TeamGB had pulled it back to take the lead, but Japan didn’t give up. With the hooter having sounded they were camping in Team GB’s half. They managed to get a penalty and a try, but the kick went completely  wayward and it ends 21-19.

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22:16: Well, what do I know? Japan have managed to level up the scores to 14-14 with under two minutes to go. 

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22:05: Japan looking like they won’t be able to replicate their heroics from the New Zealand match against TeamGB. We’re at half time and Team GB lead 14-7. But the combined countries are looking clinical and organised. Japan a little bit rattled, it seems.

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21:53: Here’s a pick of (many) highlights.

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21:47: Dyaln Sage adds to South Africa’s tally with a nifty bit of sprinting down the field. It’s 26-0 with just under a minute to go. France have possession, but South Africa manage to hold on to keep another clean sheet. Exceptional effort. So calm, so composed, and so consistent. 

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21:37: South Africa turnover possession in their own half and run it down the field. Justin Geduld then chips over, the bounce is good, he pounces, passes to that man Afrika, then out to captain Kyle Brown who makes it three tries before the stroke of half time and it’s 19-0 as we head into the break.

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21:34: South Africa add seven more to their total. Kwagga Smith absolutely barges through a few French defenders, basically running the length of the filed and stepping in the process, to cross over the line and Cecil Afrika converts.

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21:31: Takes less than a minute for South Africa to get on the board. Kwagga Smith has just shouldered about two defenders, finds Afrika who completes a lovely little offload to Justin Geduld who powers over the line. Africa converts and South Africa are up 7-0.

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21:29: Right, it’s the Blitzboks – or TeamSA – against France coming up.

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21:19: It’s all over. Australia 26-12 Spain. Credit to the Aussies for coming back strongly after looking shattered against France. Spain deserve some credit too, clever and physical rugby from them. 

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21:11: The answer to the question of how they get on is very well. Aussies have another try and now lead 19-12.  It’s John Porch this time. Spain now looking a bit discombobulated. 

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21:07: Australia bounce right back with a try and a conversion, they lead 14-12. Jesse Parahi and Con Foley  combined well for that try. The Aussies looked pretty tired after the first half against France earlier. Let’s see how they get on here..

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21:04: Well, well, well…Spain have managed to get another try across the line. Lovely bit of passing work from the Spanish to run the ball up strongly, running at the gaps and backing each other up. Spain convert and lead 12-7 against Australia. 

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20:59: Australia are on the board after just a few seconds. The conversion is good too and Australia lead. But hold on…Australia overthrow at he line-out, Spain get the break and race through struggling defenders. They miss the kick for poles, though, but we might have a game here.

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20:54: Coming up shortly: Australia vs Spain.

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20:53: Big news from the Sevens is that Sonny Bill Willimas has been ruled out of the tournament with an injury. There goes the chance of another lucky kid getting a medal. What a bummer.

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19:40: That’s that from a disappointing evening in the pool for South Africa. Both Cameron van der Burgh and Jarred Crous failed to advance to the 200m breaststroke semis and the 4x200m freestyle team also sunk (ha ha!). Chad le Clos is in action in the men’s 200m fly final this evening, so maybe he can offer some solace? Still to come this evening: South Africa play a feisty France (they beat Australia earlier) in the Sevens. That’s at 21:30 and Banyana Banyana play Brazil in their final group game.

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19:37: And that’s confirmed: no South African team in the 4x200m freestyle final. It’s Great Britain, USA, Russia, Germany, Japan, Australia and the Netherlands going through.

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19:30 South Africa’s relay team of Rousseau, le Clos, Meyer and Brown tussled with the USA for first spot for most of the way until the third leg where they fell behind. On the final leg, they had loads of distance to make up and ended up in fifth place. They were nearly six seconds faster tan winners US. Might be tough to make it through to the final.

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19:06: Crous started well enough, but nothing overly convincing. He started off well enough, but couldn’t keep up the pace. Crous ends last. Great Britain’s Andrew Willis wins the heat.  Both Saffas probably out of the semis.

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19:05: Another South African coming up in the same event. Jarred Crous.

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19:02: Cameron van der Burgh gets off to a brisk start in the 200m breaststroke. He touched first on the first turn, but slipped down to third on the second turn. By the third turn he’d dropped out of the top three and fallen behind quite a bit and finished second last with a time of 2:12.67. That probably won’t be enough for the semis.

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19:00: Time for Cameron van der Burgh in the 200m breaststroke heats.

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18:32 While we wait for the swimming a bit later, here’s a picture of Japan being stoked after beating New Zealand.

Players of Japan celebrate their win at the end of the during the men's Rugby Sevens Pool C match between New Zealand and Japan of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Deodoro Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 09 August 2016. EPA/YOAN VALAT

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17:56: Wow. Japan have beaten New Zealand in the Sevens! Sonny Bill Williams and Joe Weber both went off injured and the Japanese managed to hold on by the skin of their teeth for a 14-12 win. New Zealand looked dead set to score in the dying minutes of the match after Japan overthrew a line-out as the hooter went, but they managed to fight off a late surge in their own half, right on their own 22. Senseitional

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17:28: Short break from us now and we’ll be back at 19:00 with some swimming action.

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17:20: In more Sevens news – TeamGB have trounced Kenya 31-7. They’ve looked really impressive and given all 12 of their players a runaround. Could they be the surprise package of the Games? The women started off with a flier on the first day, too, but imploded on the final day and finished fourth. This was the first time the team has played as “Team GB”…not a bad start. 

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17:12: Belarus and Russia end in second and third respectively to join South Africa in the semis. Those will be at 14:30 and 14:40 on Wednesday – depending which semi South Africa fall into.

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17:07: South Africa managed to maintain their lead at the 1000m mark, but Belarus started to push them really close soon after. The South Africans pushed hard for the final stretch, though, and managed to sneak home in first place, but just. They’re into the semis.

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17:05: Repechage for the SA fours rowers for a place in the semis. South Africa take an early lead, but as we saw with the men’s pairs earlier, it’s not easy to maintain that pace. They lead at the 500m mark.

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16:48: And that’s that. South Africa win 24-0. Easy. They play France tonight at 21:30.

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16:45: Anyway, the Blitzboks….sorry…Team SA…have crossed over the whitewash again. They’re now 24-0 up. Been a dominant performance. Yes, it’s only Spain, but it’s so easy to slip up in this format if you aren’t focussed. South Africa have been guilty of looking a little meh at the start of World Series events over the last season. That’s certainly not the case here. Oh, Afrika thought he had a hat trick but it was lost forward. Good refereeing.

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16:45: Well, that’s us told.

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16:41: South Africa have just shown why they are such big favourites to win gold. Spain looked set for a try but one small mistake and South Africa were off as they got the ball out to Senatla who cruised over. Afrika misses the conversion. South Africa 19-0 Spain. Five minutes left.

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16:37: South Africa not looking quite at full tilt yet, but easy does it for now. There’s a turnover through the scrum and Cecil Afrika… the man who could sidestep a Ferrari, is off and over. Converted too and South Africa lead 14-0 at the break.

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16:31: Cecil Afrika opens the scoring for South Africa. Slightly dodgy pass from Justin Geduld. Was it forward? Afrika puts on the after burners and he’s over in the corner. Conversion from very outwide is good too, great kick. South Africa 7-0 up.

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16:28: Snyman, Smith, Brown, Geduld, Afrika, Senatla, De Jongh all start for South Africa. They’re not messing about here.

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16:25: For all of those who were worried about not being able to watch the match live, SuperSport1 have caught up with things and the match is now LIVE.

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16:22: France have done it, they win 31-14. I’ve never seen Australia look quite so knackered after a game of Sevens and it’s only day one. They play South Africa tomorrow and France play the Blitzboks later. The Blitzboks will fancy their chances against both these sides if that’s how quickly they tire at the Games. That said…we haven’t seen how South Africa respond yet. We’re about to, though. Coming up, South Africa vs Spain.

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16:18: France look absolutely knackered. They managed to get hold of the ball and tried to run it into the Aussie half, but there’s a penalty just a few metres from the try line. Australia head back before an intercept from France sees them cross over the whitewash. Australia look like they’ve been run ragged. France lead 24-14. Just 30 seconds left.

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16:15: Well, that didn’t last long. France gone a bit wobbly here in the second half. They’ve struggled to even get possession nevermind maintain it. And the  Aussies are back in it, France leads 17-14 with just over three minutes to go.

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16:10: The Sevens has gotten underway and France lead Australia 17-0 at half-time!

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15:10: Anyway, the next bit of rowing is only at 17:00 with the men’s fours taking part in the repechage. There’s the Blitzboks vs Spain coming up at 16:30, which SuperSport have decided to show delayed, but we’ve got the ways and means to keep you updated…

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15:09 New Zealand finish first, Team GB second and South Africa third. That final will be on Thursday, but it’s going to take a tremendous effort to beat the Kiwis. Maybe these two have been holding back a bit and reserving some energy for the finals? We’ll see. They’re up against Italy, Australia, France, New Zealand and Team Great Britain in the final.

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15:06: Lawrence Brittain and Shaun Keeling started off steadily and took the lead early on with New Zealand hot on their heels. Or is that oars? The Kiwis overtook them just after the 500m mark, but South Africa stayed in close range, not losing too much ground. By the 1000m mark, New Zealand had pulled way ahead, though and the South Africans looked like they had too much to do. Team GB also started to catch up, nut South Africa gave just enough to stay in second place until the 1500m mark. With 500m to go, New Zealand continued their dominance and Team GB pushed past South Africa. Serbia tried to mount a late charge, but it was already too late. 

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14:54: Almost time for the men’s pair semis. The water looks much, much calmer today than the previous days. Also, have we mentioned the rowing venue is very pretty?

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14:04 STOP THE PRESS. We’ve just come across the best ever good luck video to ever exist. The Springboks have won the internet with this little clip.

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13:21: Having already won gold at the Commonwealth Games and after a solid World Series season, all eyes on the Blitzboks to see if they can produce more magic later on.

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13:18: Rio is still asleep mostly, but if you’ve got something to get off your chest, email sportsdesk@dailymaverick.co.za and we might publish it here.

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13:08: Le Clos has already won a silver medal. He set a new African record in the 200m freestyle last night. Not bad for a fly guy.

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13:04: Speaking of the Phelps/Le Clos rivalry, this happened during their semi-final on Tuesday morning. #PhelpsFace is now all over Twitter.

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13:03: The big one here is the 200m fly final where Chad le Clos and Michael Phelps will square off. We know you’ll be sleeping so why not sign up to our First Thing newsletter so you have the result as soon as you are scratching the sleep out of your eyes?

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13:01: Here’s a quick reminder of what you have to look forward to today.

Swimming:

19:00: Men’s 200m Breaststroke (Heat 3): Cameron van der Burgh
19:05: Men’s 200m Breaststroke (Heat 4): Jarred Crous
19:17: Men’s 4x200m Freestyle (Heat 1)
03:28 am (Wednesday): Men’s 200m Butterfly, Final: Chad le Clos
04:03 – 4:12 (Wednesday) : Men’s 200m Breaststroke semi-finals: Possibly, Cameron van der Burgh and Jarred Crous

Rowing:

15:00: Men’s Pair, semi-final: Lawrence Brittain and Shaun Keeling 12noon
17:00: Men’s Four Repechage 1: David Hunt, Jonathan Smith, Vincent Breet and Jake Green

The Blitzboks open their account against Spain at 16:30 with another match against France at 21:30 and Banyana Banyana play hosts Brazil at 1am (Wednesday). There’s also some rowing from 18:05. South Africa’s Stefano Marcia is currently 28th overall on 55 points.

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13:00: Hello and welcome to the Daily Maverick’s live blog of all the South African action at the Olympics. Of course, we’ll also keep you in the loop with all other interesting happenings. DM

Photo: Cecil Afrika of South Africa in action during the men’s Rugby Sevens Pool B match between South Africa and Spain of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Deodoro Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 09 August 2016. EPA/YOAN VALAT

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