JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH Africa has underlined its status as the continent’s sporting powerhouse with an impressive showing at the just ended Commonwealth Games held in Australia.
The continent’s number one sporting nation collected 37 medals to finish sixth out of 71 participating nations.
South Africa clinched 13 gold, 11 silver and 13 bronze medals.
Athletes Caster Semenya, Luvo Manyonga and Akani Simbine as well as swimmer Chad Le Clos are among others that outshone their international competitors in their respective codes.
Tsepo Mhlongo, a local legislator, praised Team South Africa for its medal haul.
“Sport brings tangible changes to peoples’ lives and plays a vital role in our national project of social cohesion,” Mhlongo said.
Nigeria meanwhile was the second best team of the continent (Africa), and ninth overall with 24 medals.
The West Africans managed nine gold, nine silver and six bronze medals.
Other African nations that did well in the Commonwealth Games include Kenya, who finished 14th overall, Uganda (15th), Botswana (16th), Namibia (19th), Cameroon (32nd), Mauritius (35th), Ghana (40th) and Seychelles (42nd).
Gambia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia returned empty-handed.
Australia made home advantage count, finishing highest with 198 medals among them 80 gold, 59 silver and 59 bronze.
England came second with 45 gold, 45 silver and 46 bronze in their 136 medals haul.
India, Canada and New Zealand completed the top five in that order.
Wales were seventh, Scotland finished eighth and Cyprus were tenth.
The Commonwealth Games are an international multi-sport event involving athletes from the intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states that are mostly former territories of the British Empire.
Birmingham in England will host the next edition in 2022 after South Africa’s Durban pulled out due to financial constraints.
– CAJ News