Sport

Rio 2016, live blog, day 13: All the South Africans action from the Olympics on Thursday

By Daily Maverick Team 18 August 2016

Two medals and another athlete in a final. Not bad for a day's work. If you missed any of the action, you can catch up with it all right here.

03:28: That is where we leave our action for the day. And for the Olympics, actually. We won’t have any more live blogs for the last three days, but we will bring you all the reports as they happen, so keep an eye on the site and social media. Also check out this handy guide to the weekend’s Olympic action. For those who have bothered to read this, thank you! And until 2020, good bye.

**

03:27: As Kevin McCallum just pointed out on Twitter, this must be such a great feeling for Viljoen. She has had trouble with Sascoc, she has been ostracised by her family for being gay and she had a disappointing result in London 2012. This was an outstanding little comeback as South Africa’s athlete’s continue to inspire with great stories.

Henri Schoeman, who won bronze in the triathlon earlier in the day, also produced a cracking comeback. He’d been ill with a fever, so ill that “he was in tears”. And, of course, Semenya is into the 800m final. The only slight let down of the day was Kyle Dodd’s BMXing. He had a pretty good race, but BMX is a brutal sport.

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03:15: Sunette Viljoen’s final throw coming up. She looks a bit nervous…she puts her absolute everything into it, but it’s well short of her best…in fact, it’s a no throw. Still, that was a very good javelin final. Viljoen put in a good effort early on, but just couldn’t quite get past Kolak towards the end. A silver Olympic medal is still far more than any of us have to show for today’s work, so…

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03:12: Final round coming up…and it’s started to rain. Kolak’s last throw was well short of her gold medal throw. Spotakova’s last throw is also a foul throw…

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03:09: Poland’s Spotakova has thrown 64.80m in round 5 and snags the bronze spot, she is just 12cm behind Viljoen. Viljoen’s fifth throw was a foul throw…one more to come. This is crazy. 

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02:55: We’re into the fourth round now and things are starting to get tense and everyone is stepping up. Viljoen just threw a 63.00 in the fourth round. Not good enough to take her into gold, she’s still in silver spot, though.

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02:54: Ah! Viljoen has just been overtaken by Croatia’s Sara Kolak. She’s thrown 66.18m.

**

02:45: Sunette Viljoen still leads the women’s javelin with 64.92 after three attempts. Her third throw was  a no throw, but it’s all good.

**

02:34: Semenya looks so unbelievably chilled before setting off. She rocks back into her starting position and takes off steadily. She is in third as the pace takes off. The pace is good. She drops to fourth, but probably not overly fussed. After the first lap, Semenya is jogging and she doesn’t start to attack until there is about 200m to go. She’s laughing. She’s off on the final stretch and her time is 1.58.15 – the fastest of the lot.

**

02:28: Second 800m semi is done. Much faster than the first. Winning time is just over 1:58  run by Joanna Jozwik of Poland and Melissa Bishop of Canada. Jozwik sat out the back and then sped up towards the end, which is how most of these races have been won. The shocker is that Eunice Sum is out. Meanwhile, in the javelin, Viljoen has thrown 64.92m on her first attempt. That time was 1:58.93 to be exact.

**

02:17: We’ve just had the first semi of the women’s 800m. As with the heats, it was a pretty steady race. Top two go through automatically, the rest slog it out for “fastest loser”. Kenya’s Wambiu did very well, she sat back and waited for the last 200m to speed things up. She got over the line first in a time of 1:59.21.  Niyonsaba from Burundi in second.

**

02:10: The second men’s 1500m was won by Kenya’s Kwemoi. Coming up: Viljoen is number eight on the start list for the women’s javelin. Also, BIG NEWS! Franck Elemba, 6ft 6in and 300lbs, is in third place in the men’s shot put final. Big news why? Not because of the man’s stature, but because he’s from the DRC…who have never won an Olympic medal. His first throw of 21.20m broke the national record. Which he set, obviously.

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01:50:Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop won the first semi-final of the men’s 1500m in 3:39.73. He was happy to sit at the back and attack towards the end in what was a very competitive race.

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01:44: Before we get to the javelin and 800m, first we have the men’s 1500m semi-finals.

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00:48: While we wait for the javelin throwing and 800m running to start, there has been a staggering development in the whole US swimmers robbed at gunpoint story. Rio police say the guys actually made the whole thing up.

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19:34: Did he? No, Doddy. And no, he didn’t. Kyle Dodd will be kicking himself there after coming through in fifth place in the third and final run. He was unlucky in the second attempt, but never quite seemed to have the pace to match his rivals.

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19:06: Right then. Nice deep breath and Dodd’s off again. But let’s leave the serenity right there. Two riders collide in front of the African champion, with Dodd caught up in the carnage. He loses all momentum but limps home in fifth. After all this he’s still in with a shout of progression. What a silly sport.

**

18:35: You get three attempts at this course before your mum calls you home for your dinner, so Dodd has time to find his feet. Eight men/boys in each heat, the top four go through. Here goes for the South African… jump, jump, pedal pedal pedal, jump, pedal pedal aaaannnddd… crash! Dodd avoids the mayhem to finish fourth, but that was a right old mess. Everyone seems alright enough, thankfully.

**

18:35: And so to the BMX track. Yes, the bigwigs haven’t had a eureka moment and removed its Olympic status yet. That means South Africa’s Kyle Dodd will be scuttling around in the quarter-finals shortly. He’s in the second heat. Don’t expect a medal, but then folks said that about Henri Shoeman…

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18:15: Henri Schoeman is up on the third step of the podium, arms aloft and with a bronze medal around his neck. Well done that man. Up to him now, really. A night of wild partying on the edgy streets of Rio, or a good long snooze.

**

17:52: Richard Murray, by the way, has had an unbelievable run to finish fourth! He was nowhere. Absolutely nowhere. Never in with a realistic shout of catching his countryman, but the South African pair have left some seriously strong athletes in their wake. Bravo.

**

17:48: It’s BRONZE for Schoeman! The 24-year-old has done ever so well here, coming in behind only a sensational one-two for the Brownlee brothers. Ranked number seven in the world, he has never made a podium in the Triathlon World Series. But who cares about that right now?!

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17:45: Britain’s Alistair Brownlee has destroyed the field here, including younger brother Jonny. We’re well into the final lap and it’s now a question of whether Schoeman can catch the younger sibling to take silver, while fending off any late attacks from behind. He’s looking good for at least a bronze.

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17:32: It’s a blur of Brownlees at the front, but what an effort this is from Schoeman! He’s on his own in third place, whizzing past Copacabana beach and the gnarled remains of lapped rivals. Can he cling on for bronze behind the British pair? Can he do the unthinkable and catch them?!

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17:15: You know, not one of that lead group remembered to bring their bike lock. Anyway, they’ve dismounted and have the feel of Rio de Janeiro tarmac right under their feet. Schoeman is still inside the group of ten, who have an almighty lead over the rest. Whisper it quietly, but he’s just about in contention for a piece of hardware here…

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16:48: We’re on to lap four of eight in the cycling phase of the triathlon and Schoeman has just done a rare turn at the front of the lead group, in which there are ten athletes. Richard Murray is way off the back of the chase group, as far as we can tell.

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16:20: No sign of Jaws after all, as they safely return from the deep. Time to hit the bikes and Schoeman is doing very nicely indeed in seventh place. The hotly-tipped British Brownlee brothers are ominously placed up the front.

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16:10: They’re off and swimming in the men’s triathlon. Richard Murray and Henri Schoeman are representing the good guys out in the open water. We’ll let you know how things stand when the field has stopped thrashing around like several dozen tourists fleeing a Great White shark. 

**

15:34: In the kayak single 500m “B-final”, South Africa’s Bridgitte Hartley ended stone last. That’s a tough result for the bronze medalist from London 2012, but perhaps not overly surprising. She looked pretty shattered yesterday.

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14:00: The men’s decathlon continues from 14:30, but South Africa’s competitor – Willem Coertzen pulled out after three events yesterday. The triathlon begins at 16:00.

**

13:51: Hello and welcome to the Daily Maverick’s live blog of day 13 of the Olympics. Things are just starting to wind down a little bit now, but there’s still quite a but of action to look forward to. It’s the triathlon today and South Africa have two competitors taking part. It’s also the women’s javelin final, where Sunette Viljoen will be in action and Caster Semenya will be running the 800m semi-finals. The latter events are coming up in the morning from around 02:00. DM

Photo: Caster Semenya of South Africa won the Women senior 800m final during the 2016 CAA 20th African Senior Championships at the Kings Park Athletic stadium in Durban, South Africa on June 26, 2016

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