Jonty Smith was left high and dry in Rio on Wednesday as Olympics organisers postponed the rowing regatta due to unhelpful weather.
Mist, raging winds and choppy water saw ex-UCT rowing star Smith and his teammates frustrated for the second time this week. Sunday's races were postponed until Monday because of inclement weather. Monday's races were postponed until Wednesday, and they never took place either.
Smith is part of the four-man crew that qualified South Africa's fifth boat for the Brazil games. He also qualified with James Thompson for the men's lightweight double sculls, and the pair will row for glory in Semi-final A/B 2 today at 08:20 Brazil time. After winning their heat on day 3 of the games, the pair will be shooting for a spot in the final, weather-permitting.
UCT's other Olympic hopefuls
A current UCT athlete who'll definitely be in Rio is the fast-twitch-fibred Mpumelelo Mhlongo, who holds African records in long jump and high jump. Mhlongo will be competing in those two disciplines, plus the 100-metre sprint, at the Paralympics.
Fencer par excellence Giselle Vicatos' Olympics qualifying bid was foiled – but only just – when Morocco's Youssra Zakarani defeated her 15–10 in the penultimate match in April. Vicatos, who is currently a master's student, is a familiar presence at the UCT Sports Awards, having been nominated for the sportsperson of the year award multiple times.
Fighting at the Olympics would have been the crowning glory for Vicatos and her épée fencing teammates, after they won gold at last year's African Games.
Story Yusuf Omar. Photo Brendan Gliddon.
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