A list of South Africans competing at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, August 18 (SA times):
12:52 – Women’s golf, second round: Ashleigh Simon, who shot a four-over 75 in her first round, is one of the early starters, going out in the third group the morning with Japan’s Harukyo Nomura and Pernilla Lindberg, of Sweden.
14:47 – Women’s golf, second round: Paula Reto, after a first round 74, tees off with a group that includes Nicole Larsen of Denmark and In Gee Chun, of Korea.
What to expect: Both Simon and Reto have plenty of work to do after their first rounds. As was shown in the men’s competition, it’s not easy to make up ground on the front-runners on a course that yields a lot of birdies. The leader shot a first round five-under 66.
15:04 – Women’s 500m Kayak Single, B final: Bridgitte Hartley
What to expect: The bronze medallist from London 2012 struggled to contain her emotions after she failed to qualify for the ‘A’ final in her favourite event, and with that went any chance of repeating her London heroics. She will have had the night to pick herself up though and will be fighting for pride and to show her fans she deserved to be in that ‘A’ final.
18:30 – Men’s BMX quarter-finals: Kyle Dodd
What to expect: This youngster has come a long way to qualify and will leave nothing out there on the multi-coloured track on Thursday. He’s aiming for a top 16 spot!
16:00 – Men’s race: Richard Murray and Henri Schoeman
What to expect: If their race numbers are anything to go on, Team South Africa can have high hopes for this most gruelling of races. Murray and Schoeman have No’s 1 and 2 respectively pinned on their race outfits (or make that stamped on their bodies). Both these two stars are medal hopes, in particular Murray who has been a revelation in the last year or so. It seemed that a broken collar bone in Australia had set his chances back but he bounced back quicker than expected and went on win the World Duathlon champs. Key to his chances will be whether he’s in touch out of the 1 500m swim. If he’s within a minute or so, it’s game on. Schoeman won’t have that problem. He’s one of the best swimmers in triathlon (his brother was an Olympic swimmer). He’s also quick on the bike and his run has also made great progress in the last year. For South African sports fans, this is going to be one of the humdingers of competition here in Rio.
02:31 on Friday – Women’s 800m semi-final: Caster Semenya
What to expect: Semenya got the heats out of the way, slipping under the 2-minute barrier as she won comfortably. She will go considerably faster under the stadium lights and will book her place in the final.