Fri Oct 4th / All-in Global / Archived

SOUTH AFRICA | AFRIKA LEADS THE SOUTH AFRICA RUGBY CHARGE

South Africa normally do best in the swimming and a few of the athletics events. But unsurprisingly, rugby could yet offer them a good hope of a medal.

Men’s Rugby Sevens

Justin Geduld, of South Africa, exercises during a men's rugby sevens team training session ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Justin Geduld, of South Africa, exercises during a men’s rugby sevens team training session ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

South Africa have twice won the Rugby Union World Cup but it’s taken them a while to really find their feet in the sevens version of the game.

This is the first-ever time that Rugby Sevens will be played at the Olympics and the bookmakers’ make South Africa second favourites, only behind Fiji, to take gold. In the 2014-15 edition of the Sevens World series, which was used in part to find the qualifiers for the Olympics, they ended up as runners-up to Fiji. And had in 23 year-old Seabelo Senatla the top scorer in the tournament with a total of 47 tries. The 1.86m winger is one of South Africa’s big stars, as is the aptly named Cecil Afrika, a former Sevens International World Player of the Year.

The men’s final takes place on Thursday 11th August.

Men’s Football

Challenged by South Africa's Deolin Mekoa , left, Denmark's Robert Skov, right, looks as his shot sails towards the gaol as he scores his side's first goal during a group A match of the men's Olympic football tournament between Denmark and South Africa at the National Stadium in Brasilia, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Challenged by South Africa’s Deolin Mekoa , left, Denmark’s Robert Skov, right, looks as his shot sails towards the gaol as he scores his side’s first goal during a group A match of the men’s Olympic football tournament between Denmark and South Africa at the National Stadium in Brasilia, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

The last few years haven’t been kind to South African football and they suffered the humiliation of being the first ever host nation to not get out of the group stages of a World Cup.

But they have some talented youngsters and can still qualify from their group here in Rio if other results go their way. If they were to beat Iraq and Brazil failed to beat Denmark, they’d be through. And then, who knows?

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