A spectacular afternoon of rowing for South Africa – which saw all teams progress to the semi-finals – was capped off with men’s coxless pair Shaun Keeling and Lawrence Brittain winning silver in the men’s pairs.
Keeling and Brittain lost out to the New Zealand rowers of Bond and Murray who have not lost in almost a decade. Keeling and Brittain started fast alongside Italy, but started to fall behind just a bit and were in fourth – behind Italy and Great Britain at one stage. However, in the final 500m, the pair put on a sprint finish and claimed the silver – South Africa’s third silver of the Games.
Earlier in the afternoon all the other rowers also progressed to their respective finals. Women’s pair Lee-Ann Persse and Kate Chirstowitz finished third in their semi-final while women’s lightweight double sculls won their semi-final to seal their spot in the medal chase on Friday afternoon. James Thompson and John Smith won their lightweight double sculls semi-final to qualify for the final while the men’s four David Hunt, Jonathan Smith, Vincent Breet and Jake Green – the only rowing team who had to go into the repechage to qualify for the finals – finished second to seal their spot.