Cape Town — Team South Africa finally had something to celebrate on Wednesday as they secured two more bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Candice Lill finished third in the women’s mountain bike cross-country event, while the lawn bowls para women’s pairs B6-B8 duo of Victoria van der Merwe and Desiree Levin also reached the podium to take SA’s medal haul to 18 (six gold, five silver and seven bronze).
And they will hope to increase that tally later on Wednesday evening when Akani Simbine defends his 100m title.
Lill competed in the London Olympics, and 10 years later at the Cannock Chase Forest in Staffordshire, she tasted glory in the gruelling 34km race.
The 30-year-old from Port Shepstone was in fourth position after the opening 10km, but moved up to second at the 22km mark.
Lill, though, was passed by Australian Zoe Cuthbert with about 4km to go, and settled for third and bronze in a time of 1hr 36min 12sec.
England’s Evie Richards charged to the gold medal in 1:34:59, with Cuthbert taking the silver with 1:35:46.
Later in the afternoon, Van der Merwe and Levin beat England’s Michelle White and Gillian Platt 16-7 in the lawn bowls para women’s pairs B6-B8 bronze-medal match at Victoria Park.
The SA pair were 7-2 up after End 4, and moved ahead to a 12-3 advantage following End 9.
Meanwhile, Simbine is keen to continue with his success at the Commonwealth Games after his 100m gold in 2018 and he produced a comfortable semi-final victory in a time of 10.07 seconds at Alexander Stadium.
The 28-year-old took a while to get going out of the blocks, but quickly shifted into another gear and was able to slow down before the finish line.
Simbine’s main competition in the final — which takes place at 10.30pm on Wednesday night — will come from Kenya’s African record-holder Ferdinand Omanyala, who won his semi-final in 10.02, and the third semi-final winner, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake of England (10.13).