Gold Rush for SA Women Athletes at African Games in Ghana

SA made a massive leap up the medals leaderboard from 11th to third place after a bevy of women’s-event medals at the 13th African Games, with Cycling and Swimming bringing in Team SA’s first gold and silver medals in Accra on Saturday. In this photo, Caitlin de Lange (second from left) Georgia Els (second from right) are pictured after winning the 4x100 Freestyle mixed relay with mens compatriots Andrew Ross and Clayton Jimmie. Photo: Roger Sedres via Team SA

South Africa has made a massive leap up the medals leaderboard after a bevy of podium positions in Saturday’s medal events at the 13th African Games, as Cycling and Swimming brought in Team SA’s first gold medals at the continental showpiece in Accra, Ghana, from 4-23 March, 2024.

After Saturday’s results, South African women have brought in three of Team SA’s five gold medals to date, with South Africa and Algeria both on five gold medals but South Africa in third place with a lesser count of silver and bronze medals, while Egypt continues to lead by a wide margin of 20 gold medals. 

Cyclist Hayley Preen set the tone on a winning Saturday for Team South Africa as she became the country’s first gold medallist at the 13th African Games in Accra, Ghana, winning gold in the women’s elite U23 road race.

“It was an amazing race and my teammates were amazing,” said Preen. “We worked together as a team the whole day. When there was 9km to go there was a corner and when the riders slowed down I decided to go for it and rode into a headwind for that final stretch.

“I would have preferred a longer and harder race, as this was less than 100km and it was quite flat. The riders then didn’t split up, so it became more tactical.”

More gold came in the pool as South Africa’s swimmers put in dominant performances. 

Caitlin de Lange won in the 100m freestyle in 55.53 seconds, Farida Hisham (55.62) of Egypt won silver while Uganda’s Anna Muzito (56.01) wrapped up the top 3 spots.

Speaking after her winning performance de Lange had her eye on the prize: “I just said to myself just get your hand on the wall first”. 

On Team South Africa’s camaraderie at the Games: “It’s an unreal experience, everyone is supporting each other and we are just having a lot of fun.”

De Lange’s second gold medal came alongside Georgia Els and two male teammates, Andrew Ross and Clayton Jimmie, in the 4×100 Freestyle mixed relay.

Catherin van Rensburg won gold in 1500m freestyle in a Games record time of 16:47.61 while Leigh McMorran (2:19.06) came second in the women’s 200m butterfly behind Egyptian Diaaeldeen Abobakar (2:15.12), with her compatriot Jasmine Ahmed (2:20.22) finishing third.

CLICK TO VIEW TEAM SOUTH AFRICA PARTICIPANTS AND SCHEDULE

CLICK TO VIEW THE MEDALS TABLE

CLICK TO VIEW THE TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

Chess (Banele Mhango paired with Jesse February for two wins and a draw) and Table Tennis (mixed teams Liam Beukes with Rochica Sonday in a 3-2 loss to Madagascar and Cowen Lodewy wiht Lailaa Edwards in a 3-0 loss to Angola) also saw South African action commenced.

All eyes will be on the SA T20 team in their third and final pool-stage fixture, a must-win tie against Nigeria, with lots of action – including event titles – in the pool on Sunday.  

Cycling Medals:

Gold
Hayley Preen (Women’s Elite U23 Road Race)

Swimming Medals:

Gold
Caitlin de Lange (women’s 100m freestyle)
Catherin van Rensburg (women’s 1500m freestyle)
4×100 Freestyle mixed relay (Caitlin de Lange, Georgia Els, Andrew Ross, Clayton Jimmie)

Silver
Leigh McMorran (women’s 200m butterfly)

Badminton: Women’s Singles Round of 16

Johanita Scholtz bt Rabiatu Ofoli (Ghana) 2-0

Women’s Doubles, Round of 16

Amy Ackerman/Deidre Jordaan bt Togo 2-0

Chess: Mixed Teams, round 1
Team SA (Banele Mhango/Jesse February) 2 Ghana 0

Mixed Teams, Round 2
Team SA (Banele Mhango/Jesse February) 1 Algeria 0

Mixed Teams, Round 2
Team SA (Banele Mhango/Jesse February) 1 Angola 1

Table Tennis: Mixed doubles, round of 64
Team SA (Liam Beukes/Rochica Sonday) lost to Madagascar 2-3
Team SA  (Cowen Lodewyn/Lailaa Edwards) lost to Angola 0-3


Main Photo Caption: SA made a massive leap up the medals leaderboard from 11th to third place after a bevy of women’s-event medals at the 13th African Games, with Cycling and Swimming bringing in Team SA’s first gold and silver medals in Accra on Saturday. In this photo, Caitlin de Lange (second from left) Georgia Els (second from right) are pictured after winning the 4×100 Freestyle mixed relay with mens compatriots Andrew Ross and Clayton Jimmie. Photo: Roger Sedres via Team SA

Photo 2 Caption: Cyclist Hayley Preen won Team South Africa’s first gold medallist at the 13th African Games in Accra, Ghana, winning gold in the women’s elite U23 road race. Photo: Supplied Team SA

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