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06.10.2003 Sports News

Abuja 2003: South Africa takes lead

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(FROM: Richard Avornyotse, GNA Special correspondent in Abuja, Nigeria) Abuja, Nigeria, Oct. 5, GNA - South Africa shot into the lead when she won two gold medals in the women's gymnasium on the first day of competition at the Eighth All African Games in Abuja, Nigeria. Joyce Kerry picked the first gold for the South Africans when she scored 33,750 points in the individual event. She later joined her colleagues to win the second gold in the team contest with a cumulative score of 99,950 points, giving the Thabo Mbeki girls an early lead from 52 other competing nations. Nourthan Saad Ahmed of Egypt, won the silver in the individual event while another South African lady, Zandre Labuschangne won the bronze. Egypt won her second silver when their women placed second in the team event, while Namibia picked the bronze. Celebrating the South African victory, Mr Jerry Masai, president of the South African Gymnasium Federation said he was happy her girls won despite the stiff challenge they faced from Egypt. "We are expecting a stronger challenge in the men's event. It will be another tough one for us as countries like Nigeria and Algeria will be coming out strong," he said.
Mr Masai said he was happy that Gymnastics is gradually coming up in South Africa and was confident that their athletes will soon pose a big challenge to European nations who are currently world leaders in the sport.

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