The national squad ended their campaign with a total of five medals (two gold and three bronze), all achieved in athletics.
In the morning session on the 10th day of competition, the men’s half-marathon squad secured bronze in the team event, spearheaded by Thabang Masihlelo who finished eighth in the individual race in 1:07:11. Defending champion Gladwin Mzazi had a bad day at the office, taking 15th position in 1:09:26, but he did enough to help the team reach the podium.
The women’s half-marathon squad finished fourth in the team competition, led by Thembi Baloyi who was 16th in 1:28:05.
In the evening session on the track, Rynardt van Rensburg put up a strong fight to grab third place in the men’s 800m final in 1:49.30.
Van Rensburg missed out on the silver medal by 0.01 in a sprint finish against Moroccan Abdelati el Guesse.
Long jumper Roelf Pienaar carried the SA flag in his specialist event, in the absence of African champion Zarck Visser who withdrew ahead of the qualifying round with a foot unjury.
Pienaar took the early lead with a second-round leap of 7.98m, and while he was overtaken in the latter stages of the competition he held on to reach the podium, earning bronze.
The women’s 4x400m quartet – Anneri Ebersohn, Arlene Gowar, Anuscha Nice and Justine Palframan – were the best of the SA relay teams, taking sixth place in their final in 3:46.73.
On the football field, the SA women’s side lost out in a penalty shootout to Ireland, ending the tournament in 14th position.
Sduduzo Dlamini scored in the first half, and captain Refiloe Jane netted a second-half brace to give the South Africans a 3-1 lead with 11 minutes remaining, but the Canadians buried two late goals to save a 3-3 draw. The Irish outfit went on to win 4-2 in the shootout.
While Team SA’s medal charge has come to an end, the men’s football team will close out the campaign on Monday when they face Ireland in the playoff for fifth and sixth positions.