Though the national athletics and swimming contingents stole the show at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, five other sports contributed to South Africa’s 37-medal haul.
We glance back at the individuals and teams who boosted the country’s overall tally at the 11-day spectacle.
Wrestling (1 gold, 1 silver)
Earning a convincing victory, Martin Erasmus dominated the 97kg gold medal playoff to secure a historic title for South Africa.
Beating India’s Mausam Khatri with a 12-2 win by technical superiority, he became the country’s first wrestling champion at the Games in 60 years.
Fellow freestyle wrestler Hanru Botha also reached the gold playoffs in the 74kg weight division, and though he lost to Kumar Sushil of India, who raced to a commanding 10-0 victory, Botha did enough to earn the silver medal.
Lawn bowls (3 silver, 2 bronze)
Colleen Piketh got the bowls team off to a good start with a bronze medal in the women’s singles division, and she went on to join Nicolene Neal in the pairs playoffs. While they led 12-3 after 10 ends against Malaysia, their gutsy opponents fought back to win 15-14, with the South Africans taking silver.
The women’s fours quartet of Esme Kruger, Nicolene Neale, Johanna Snyman and Elma Davis also lost in the gold medal playoffs, settling for silver after falling in a narrow 18-16 defeat to Australia.
In para-bowls categories, Princess Schroeder and Philippus Walker took the second step on the podium in the B2/B3 mixed pairs, going down 12-9 to Australia, and the B6/B7/B8 open triples team of Christopher Patton, Tobias Botha and Willem Viljoen earned a 16-13 victory over England in the bronze playoffs.
Triathlon (1 gold)
Henri Schoeman opened the nation’s campaign in style at the multi-sport Games, charging to victory in the men’s race on the opening day of competition.
The SA mixed team, who were among the pre-race favourites, went on to trail home in eighth place in the relay race after Simone Ackermann picked up an injury.
Schoeman, however, ensured the triathlon contingent stepped on the podium, with the national anthem being played for the first time at the Gold Coast showpiece. He was among the leaders out the water, stuck with the breakaway on the bike and broke clear on the run to win the sprint race by seven seconds in 52:31.
Cycling (2 bronze)
Delivering some stunning performances, the national cycling team raked in two bronze medals.
In cross country, Alan Hatherly fought all the way to the line to snatch third place. Shaking off a broken arm in the build-up to the Games, he crossed the line in 1:17:55, just 20 seconds off the pace.
In the men’s road race, Clint Hendricks also grabbed third spot, launching himself across the line in a bunch sprint. He finished just behind Australian winner Steele von Hoff and Welsh silver medallist Jonathan Mould, holding on for a well-deserved podium finish.
Weightlifting (1 bronze)
Proving beauty and brawn can make a potent combination, US-based weightlifter Mona Pretorius produced a superb performance to take third position in the women’s 63kg division.
She lifted a total of 206kg in the snatch and the clean and jerk, just one kilogramme shy of English silver medallist Zoe Smith.
Just missed out
A number of athletes and teams came close to stepping on the podium in other codes but narrowly lost out.
Shooters Petrus Haasbroek and Jacobus du Toit took fourth place in the Queen’s prize pairs final, while boxer Sinethemba Blom lost to Jessie Lartey of Ghana in the men’s 64kg quarter-finals, missing out on a guaranteed medal.
Elsewhere, diver Julia Vincent ended fourth in the women’s 1m springboard final and table tennis player Theo Cogill was edged 3-2 by Joshua Stacey of Wales in the TT6-10 singles bronze medal playoff.
While they were 14-0 ahead at the break in the bronze playoff of the rugby sevens tournament, defending champions the Blitzboks lost 21-14 to England.