Pretoria: Bridgitte Hartley has made it an extra special Women’s Day for South Africa, winning a bronze medal in the women’s Kayak Single (K1) 500m race at the London Olympics on Thursday.
Hartley finished third in a time of 1:52.923, behind race winner Danuta Kozak of Hungary, who finished in 1:51.456 and second place Inna Osypenko-Radomska of Ukraine, who had a time of 1:52.685.
Hartley’s medal brings South Africa’s tally at the Games to five – which also includes three golds and one silver. It also places South Africa 20th in the medal tally.
Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula congratulated Hartley.
“On this special day in South Africa, where we highlight the struggle and hardships faced by women and pave a way for them to take their rightful place in society, we are proud to be receiving this gift.
“A South African woman has created waves and moved mountains in the canoeing sprint race. We honour Bridgitte Hartley for making us proud and wish her a Happy Women’s Day. We urge all the athletes to continue doing their best and we wish them good luck,” said Mbalula.
Meanwhile, the country has more to hope for as sprinter Anaso Jobodwana finished second behind world record holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica in the 200m semi-final.
Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele congratulated Jobodwana on his performance.
The minister spoke to Jobodwana’s father, Mkhuseli Jobodwana, who is Director: Remand Administration and Case Flow Management at the Department of Correctional Services head office in Pretoria, after Wednesday night’s race.
“The Correctional Services Family heartily congratulates Anaso Jobodwana, and the Jobodwana family, for his magnificent performance in the 200m semi-finals of the Olympic Games. He has made South Africa, and the Department of Correctional Services, extremely proud.
“We are crossing our fingers for the finals. Again, congratulations to Anaso as well as all our country’s athletes,” Ndebele said.