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Rio 2016 live blog, day five: All the South African action from the Olympics

By Daily Maverick Team 10 August 2016

With the rowing postponed, it was over to the rugby, judo, sailing, cycling and equestrian to fly the South African flag at Rio. Catch up on what went down here.

00:44: The rowing was postponed due to bad weather and rugby was all sorts of thrilling. You can read the full report on the Sevens here.

**

00:41: Okay, we’ve just about calmed down. Let’s have a recap of what happened today. All update from TeamSA:

Cycling (women’s individual time trial):

Another gritty display from South Africa’s leading road racer. Lying seventh after the first 10km split she hit the deck shortly afterwards and despite hanging in there with every fibre of her tiny body was unable to make up more time as she ended 2min 02.69sec behind American Kristin Armstrong who will start her 43rd birthday celebrations a day early. Moolman-Pasio, who will sport some battle scars on her left hip, can still stand way taller than her 1.63m frame. She may not look back at her Olympic performance as being a great success but she will return to her Italian base and then back to South Africa in the knowledge that she’s been SA’s best female road racing performer at the Olympics to date.

Equestrian:

Tanya Seymour placed 27th with a score of 63.929% In a nutshell: It seems nerves got the better of Ramoneur and anyone with a whisker of horsey knowledge knows that a stressed horse and dressage don’t make for a great combination. Seymour’s been racking up scores of around 70% on the ride into Rio and with the rest of the field in action on Thursday it doesn’t look like a 63% will be enough to make the cut into the Grand Prix Special. Top score of the day went to Germany’s Dorothee Schneider with an 80.986%

Judo:

It was always going to be a tough assignment for the big South African, ranked No23 in the world. He was coming up not only against the world No20, but a Brazilian who was cheered on by a wildly partisan home crowd and who was a silver medallist from the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Tiago got the win and Piontek will take no further part in the competition.

Sailing:

The London Olympians opened their 2016 Games campaign with an 18th spot in a fleet of 26. Winds varied between eight and 16 knots and first honours went to Croatia’s Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic. In their second race, they slipped back to 24th spot as Aussies Matthew Belcher and Will Ryan took the honours. That meant that they will start day two’s action in 22nd spot overall. Meanwhile Games debutant Marcia ended 44th of 47 Laser boats in his first race of the day. This means he was 38th in the overall standings as Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic regained the lead. In his next race the wind had picked up markedly to between 16 and 20 knots. He ended 38th at Britain’s Nick Thompson won race six. Overall Marcia is also in the same position (38th).

**

00:00: Well, I will say this. If you are a once-every-four-years sport watcher, welcome to the life of a Sevens watcher. This is what it’s like week in, week out when the Sevens World Series is on. It’s emotional.

**

23:57: They’ve done it! South Africa clinch a 22-5 win over Australia to set up a semi-final clash against Great Britain tomorrow. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions in the quarters this evening. South Africa, arguably, had the “easiest” semi – in terms of its scoreline anyway. The rain made things slippery and, at times, comical. After slipping up against Australia earlier in the day, South Africa regained their composure ad now have to believe they can do it again against a Great Britain side who has looked like real medal contenders. 

**

23:54: South Africa have another one. The ball bounces towards the paint, Aussie defender tries to get on it, Snyman is on the defender, the ball is stopped short of the line, bounces out and Senatla pounces. Cecil Afrika somehow manages to land his kick RIGHT ON TOP OF THE POST.

**

23:51: South Africa have created a bit of magic for captain Kyle Brown to cross over. Afrika gets his first kick of the night over and South Africa lead 17-5. Less than two minutes left.

**

23:47: These teams are all over each other, Kwagga Smith has just put in a monster of a tackle to stop Australia and there’s a scrum in SA’s favour. They win the ball and kick it  all the way back into Australia’s 22. Australia regain possession and they are back on the defence. We’ve got five minutes left. Lost forward and South Africa have the ball.

**

23:43: Australia hit back for a try on the stroke of half-time. The kick is wide, so the gap is still five points. Bit dodgy defence there.

**

23:39: South Africa have fluffed it on the restart with Brown setting off before the kick was taken. Australia take a tap and go, but South Africa manage to win a penalty and they have possession again. Australia’s defence is tight, though, but after a little bit of hustling, they manage to find Senatla out wide and it’s a try. Afrika misses the conversion, but it’s 10-0.

**

23:37: Brown finds space and finds Speckman and he does a fun little step just because he can and is over the line. But he’s down and injured and getting some attention. Afrika’s kick goes wayward, so South Africa have a narrow 5-0 lead. Kicking’s not been great here. Speckman is back up and looks okay now.

**

23:28: Wow. GB have done it. They’ve managed to find a way through the forcefield. The Argentines are in tears. GB are in tears. I’m in tears. Tears of sheer joy and excitement after one of the most insane Sevens matches at this Olympics so far.  Dan Bibby found a way through and now it’s South Africa against Australia.

**

23:38: THIS IS MADNESS!! THIS IS SEVENS!! England have just been given a penalty kick at goals and IT HAS HIT THE DAMN POST. THERE IS A FORCEFIELD AROUND SCORING.

**

23:22 So it’s 0-0 and full-time and we head into extra time after Argentina kicked a penalty wide. The shattered nerves! We’re playing for “golden point”.

**

23:08: Sturdy defence from GB kept Argentina at bay for the first half. With the scores tied at 0-0 at half-time, it was going to take  something special to break the deadlock. GB’s James Davis very nearly did, running almost the full length of the field to get into Argentina’s 22. But it’s slippery out there and the Argentine defence was on fire. Argentina get back into England’s 22 and fluff a chance through a wayward pass. Argentina then had a player sent to the sin bin and the clock had run down. The hooter sounded and GB regained possession, then Argentina, then GB…things were all over the shop and then England had a player sent off! 

**

22:57: Coming up: GB against Argentina and South Africa against Australia.

**

22:55: Are you watching, Heyneke? Japan have just beaten France to go through to the semi-finals at the Olympics! Japan win 12-7 after a feisty encounter which saw them score in the dying minutes of the game. France, who looked reasonably impressive on day one, look absolutely gutted here. 

**

22:12: Fiji were down 5-7 at half time and after a bit of a talking from their coach, they pulled it back to 12-7 with about four minutes to go. It was slippery and drizzly out there, but Fiji did very well to hold on for the win. There were some handbags towards the end from New Zealand..exactly sure what about…

**

21:18: While we wait for the quarterfinals of the rugby to start, here’s an update on the sailing from TeamSA:

The London Olympians opened their 2016 campaign with an 18th spot in a fleet of 26. Winds varied between eight and 16 knots and first honours went to Croatia’s Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic. In their second race, the slipped back to 24th spot as Aussies Matthew Belcher and Will Ryan took the honours. That meant that they will start day two’s action in 22nd spot overall. Meanwhile Games debutant Marcia ended 44th of 47 boats. This means he’s 38th in the overall standings as Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic regained the lead

**

19:01: Having already lost to Australia today in the pool stages, South Africa have a chance to make up for their failings. The Blitzboks looked miles from their best and the Aussies looked 100 times better than they did on the first day.

**

18:55: So the quarterfinals sevens fixtures for the Olympics will begin at 22:00 and they are as follows: 

22:00 Fiji vs New Zealand
22:30 Japan vs France
23:00 Great Britain vs Argentina
23:30 South Africa vs Australia

**

18:52: What a game! The Sevens has been a real thrill throughout and Fiji and the USA have just played another match to remember. The two sides exchanged the lead until late in the second half when Fiji’s vast experience helped them cross over the lead t go well in front at 24-14. But within seconds USA managed to claw back another try to put them within six points. But Fiji managed to just hold on and USA are out at the pool stage!

**

17:55: Quick update from the other Sevens fixtures. Japan beat Kenya 31-7 and TeamGB have just beaten New Zealand 21-19! Sure, New Zealand might have lost Sonny Bill Williams to injury yesterday, but they’ve not quite looked themselves. We’re waiting for Argentina vs Brazil and Fiji vs USA to determine the quarterfinals play offs

**

16:55: We also have an update from the judo. Zack Piontek lost to Camilo Tiago from Brazyl by Ippon with Tai-otoshi in 5:00 at elimination round of 32.

**

16:49: Result from the Blitzboks pool game against Australia: It’s SA 5-12 Australia.

Not a great outing for South Africa in the Sevens. They dazzled with some fleet-footed excellence yesterday and did not concede a single try. But that has changed against Australia. Depsite the Aussies looking a far cry from being the number-four ranked side in the world, the Blitzboks have stuttered here. Could that have been just a bit of complacency? They were 12-0 down with just under three minutes to go before Senatla crossed over the whitewash. They looked pretty average and Australia looked to have done a 180.

**

15:00: Kristin Armstrong has won the women’s time trial, her third consecutive  Olympic Gold. She is followed by Zabelinskaya takes who bags silver and Van der Breggen taking bronze. South Africa’s Moolman PAsio ends in 12th which is not bad going on a day that was quite awful for racing. Onto the men’s race now.

**

14:10: Ah. Moolman Pasio is on the course – there was some suggestions that she might have missed the start, but she’s made it. She’s looking focussed.

**

13:29: As you might have gathered by now, the weather is horrendous which could make the time trial pretty interesting. It’s wet, it’s windy and it’s hot. Fun times.

**

13:22: The rowing has now been officially called off for the day. We’ll have the new schedule for you as soon as it becomes available. 

**

12:54: Well, the news from the rowing is that it has been postponed for the day because of bad weather. They hope it will clear and we can get underway in the afternoon, but we’ll have to wait and see.

**

12:46: Also, if you want to get anything off your chest related to the Olympics, send your thoughts to sportsdesk@dailymaverick.co.za and we might publish them here.

**

12:30: We almost forgot, Chris Froome is taking part in the men’s time trial at 15:00 and while he might be racing for TeamGB, we all know that South Africans like to claim him for Mzansi.

**

12:06: It’s a pretty intense day coming up. Here’s what you’ve got to look forward to:

Cycling

13:00: Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio competes in the women’s road time trials.

Equestrian

18:30: Tanya Seymour is in action in the individual dressage.

Rowing

13:30: Lee-Ann Persse and Kate Christowitz row in the women’s pair semi-finals.
13:50: Kirsten McCann and Ursula Grobler row in the women’s lightweight double sculls semi-finals.
14:20: James Thompson and John Smith row in the men’s lightweight double sculls semi-finals.

Judo

15:00: South Africa’s Zack Piontek takes on Brazil’s Camilo Tiago in the 20th fight of the day in the men’s -90kg judo.

Sevens

16:30: South Africa play Australia in their final pool match. Quarterfinals will follow later in the evening.

Sailing

18:05: Laser Men, Races 5 and 6: Stefano Marcia and 470 men (Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson).

Soccer

3am (Thursday): South Africa play their final group match against Iraq. They still have a chance of qualifying, if they win.

**

12:04: Hello and welcome to the Daily Maverick’s live blog of South Africans in action at the Rio Olympics. – DM

Photo: Cecil Afrika of South Africa breaks tackle from Javier Carrion of Spain during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Sevens Rugby match between South Africa and Spain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 09 August 2016 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

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