Having produced a historic performance to reach the semifinals for the first time in 20 years, the SA men’s hockey team stumbled at the last hurdle on Monday, as South Africa’s campaign fizzled to a tame close at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Faced with the SA team’s final medal hope in the bronze playoff, the hockey side lost 6-3 to hosts England, missing out on the nation’s first hockey medal at the quadrennial showpiece.

Following a flurry of goals in the second quarter – with Matthew Guise-Brown, Mustapha Cassiem and Nqobile Ntuli hitting the back of the net for South Africa – the teams went into the half-time break level at 3-3.

England, however, stretched their lead in the third quarter and scored two more goals in the final period to secure victory and the bronze medal.

Team SA finished ninth in the final standings at the 11-day multi-sport spectacle with 27 medals (seven gold, nine silver and 11 bronze). It was the squad’s worst overall result at the Commonwealth Games since South Africa finished 12th with 11 medals at the 1994 edition in Victoria, Canada.

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Swimmers led the charge, raking in 11 medals with teenagers Lara van Niekerk and Pieter Coetze shining in the pool, while the track and field team were below par, settling for five medals.

A total of nine codes contributed to Team SA’s podium count, including rugby sevens, judo (two), lawn bowls (two), cycling (two), boxing (two), wrestling and gymnastics.

Team SA medals, Commonwealth Games

Gold

Women

Lara van Niekerk – 50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke (swimming)
Tatjana Schoenmaker – 200m breaststroke (swimming)
Michaela Whitebooi – 48kg (judo)

Men

Pieter Coetze – 100m backstroke (swimming)
Jonathan Ntutu – T11/12 100m (athletics)
Blitzboks – rugby sevens

Silver

Women

Tatjana Schoenmaker – 100m breaststroke (swimming)
Erin Gallagher – 50m butterfly (swimming)
SA fours team – lawn bowls

Men

Pieter Coetze – 50m backstroke (swimming)
Chad le Clos – 200m butterfly (swimming)
Akani Simbine – 100m (athletics)
Charl du Toit – T37/38 100m (athletics)
Nicolaas de Lange – freestyle 97kg (wrestling)
Daryl Impey – road race (cycling)

Bronze

Women

Kaylene Corbett – 200m breaststroke (swimming)
Zeney van der Walt – 400m hurdles (athletics)
Phiwokuhle Mnguni – featherweight (boxing)
Candice Lill – cross country (cycling)
Caitlin Rooskrantz – uneven bars (gymnastics)
Charne Griesel – 52kg (judo)
SA pairs team – lawn bowls

Men

Pieter Coetze – 200m backstroke (swimming)
Christian Sadie – 50m freestyle S7 (swimming)
Jovan van Vuuren – long jump (athletics)
Simnikiwe Bongco – middleweight (boxing)

By editor