Blasts from the past: Luvo pipped by a hair at Olympics
Today in SA sports history: August 13
1932 — South Africa picks up four Olympic medals in one day, three in boxing and one in swimming. Johannesburg-based stablemates Lawrie Stevens and Dave Carstens take gold in the lightweight and light-heavyweight divisions while middleweight Ernest Peirce settles for bronze. Jennie Maakal claims bronze in the women’s 400m freestyle at the Los Angeles Olympics, although she was nearly 20 seconds behind winner Helene Madison and runner-up Lenore Kight, both Americans. Maakal, sixth in the 100m freestyle, had been considered a no-hoper as she set off to the Games, her trip funded by her mother, who had taken a bond on her house. On their return from the US, her boxing teammates staged a tournament at the Johannesburg City Hall to raise money for the swimmer. Stevens and Carstens were trained by Jim Fennessy, also the coach of South Africa’s first Olympic boxing gold medallist, Clarence Walker, in 1920.
1949 — One of the great Springbok centre combinations begins as Ryk van Schoor makes his Springbok debut alongside Tjol Lategan in the second Test against New Zealand at Ellis Park. The Boks won 12-6, with Lategan scoring one of the home team’s two tries. The win gave SA a 2-0 lead in the four-match series. Lategan and Van Schoor, a devastating crash tackler, played only 10 Tests next to each other until 1953, winning nine of them, including the series against the All Blacks and an unbeaten tour of Britain and France.
2016 — Luvo Manyonga seems set for the Olympic long-jump gold after his 8.37m effort in the fifth round at the Rio Games, but on his final attempt American Jeff Henderson launches himself from fourth position to land 1cm further than the South African. Henderson’s 8.38 took the win, with defending champion Greg Rutherford of Britain ending third on 8.29.
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