SA team did not perform as expected but lived up to the task

All that now remains is Thursday evening’s closing ceremony after which the remainder of Team South Africa will return home with a total of 33 medals in their luggage, made up of 12 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals.

Many of the team members have moved out of the village and are already either back home in South Africa or at their various bases around the globe. Some of the swimmers have moved on to more competitions like the FINA/Arena World Cup currently being staged.

As was widely expected the swimmers and athletes brought home the bulk of the medals.

The swimmers won 16 medals in total and the athletes five. The track and field total would surely have been higher had world 800-metre champions Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and Caster Semenya not being laid low by injury while Olympic silver medallist Khotso Mokoena was also a last minute no-show.

Stars of the Games were swimmers Chad le Clos (two golds, a silver and a bronze), Cameron van der Burgh (two golds and a silver) and Natalie Du Toit, who ended a glittering Commonwealth career with three gold medals.

As they have done at previous Commonwealth Games the lawn bowlers also came to the party with three golds of their own, in the men’s and women’s trips and the men’s pairs.

Wrestling also grabbed its share of publicity with a welcome five medals. Archery mucked in with two medals and gymnastics and Sevens Rugby won one apiece.

With just a handful of medals to be contested on Thursday, South Africa were tucked into fifth spot behind Australia, England, India and Canada and narrowly ahead of their continental counterparts Kenya and Nigeria

Their fifth position is the same as at the last Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia four years ago. They also won the same number of gold medals but five less in total. However the team that travelled to India was a lot smaller than the squad of more than 200 that went to Australia.

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