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10 Records Held by South Africa in the 2016 Olympics

Date : 05 July 2021

It has been five years since the 2016 Olympic Games was hosted in Rio de Janeiro where South Africa bagged 10 medals. Now we can look forward to #TeamSA representing us in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo taking place from Friday, 23 July to Sunday, 08 August.

In great anticipation of this prestigious sporting event, let’s take a look back at South Africa’s highlights from the 2016 Olympic Games.

1. Gold Medalists

In the 2016 Olympic Games, South Africa walked away with two gold medals – both obtained in the Athletics category.

The first gold medal was won by Wayde van Niekerk for the Men’s 400m sprint in which he also beat the world record for the event with his run time of 43.03 seconds. This is the second gold medal obtained by South Africa in the men’s 400 meters since 1920.

The second gold medal was won by Caster Semenya for the Women’s 800m sprint in which Semenya defended her position for the second Olympic Games running with her National Record-breaking time of 1:55.28.

2. Silver Medalists

South Africa also walked away with six silver medals – three obtained in Swimming, two in Athletics and one in Rowing.


In swimming, Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos made South Africa proud for their accomplishments. The first silver medal was won by Van der Burgh for Men’s 100m breaststroke with his time of 58.69 seconds.

This was followed by Le Clos for Men’s 200m freestyle with a time of 1:45.20 in which he also broke an African Record for Men’s 200m freestyle with the best time in Africa.

Le Clos also bagged a silver medal for Men’s 100m Butterfly with a time of 51.14 seconds. This title was shared with Michael Phelps of the United States and László Cseh of Hungary who also shared a time of 51.14 seconds. A noble accomplishment nevertheless for Le Clos.


South Africa won a total of two medals in Athletics. The first of which is held by Luvo Manyonga for Men’s long jump in which Manyonga beat his personal best record with a distance of 8.37 meters. This will serve as the second silver medal won by South Africa in the Men’s long jump event.

The second silver medal for Athletics was won by Sunette Viljoen for the Women’s javelin throw with a distance of 64.92 meters.


South Africa was represented by a silver medal in Rowing won by rowing pair Lawrence Brittain and Shaun Keeling in the Men’s coxless pair with their total of 7:02.51 – missing gold by a narrow 3.2 seconds.

3. Bronze Medalists

South Africa also obtained two bronze medals in the Rugby Sevens and the Triathlon categories.

Rugby Sevens

The 2016 Olympic Games marked the first time in which the Rugby Sevens was played as a part of the Olympic Games and the first time that any form of rugby was featured in the Olympics since 1924.

South Africa played against Japan and walked away from the Sevens with bronze with a total of 136 points and 22 tries marking the first team to win bronze in the Rugby Sevens event at the Olympic Games.

The Rugby Sevens Team was represented by:

  • Dylan Sage
  • Phillip Snyman
  • Tim Agaba
  • Kwagga Smith
  • Werner Kok
  • Kyle Brown
  • Cheslin Kolbe
  • Rosko Specman
  • Justin Geduld
  • Cecil Afrika
  • Seabelo Senatla
  • Juan de Jongh
  • Francois Hougaard


Henri Schoeman won the bronze medal in the triathlon event becoming the first South African to win a medal in an Olympic triathlon event. Schoeman was one of 55 competitors represented by 31 nations in the triathlon event.

Schoeman walked away in the third position with his total time of 1:45:43 – a mere 36 seconds from silver and 42 seconds from gold.

However, Richard Murray, also proudly representing South Africa in the triathlon event, obtained the fourth position finishing seven seconds after Schoeman. An impressive effort from both athletes.


We are rooting for our South African athletes who will be proudly representing our beautiful country in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Be sure to show your support in the comments on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.

Forever #ProudlySouthAfrican and #EverLocal. Go #TeamSA!