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Rio 2016: Bitter Sweet Ending for the Blitzboks

The Blitzboks had been prepping for this moment for years, the opportunity to win the first Olympic rugby tournament in almost a century. Their preparation was impeccable as they came into the tournament as second place favorites behind Fiji.

But, these are the Olympics and unexpected things do happen. In their dominant win over Australia, the South Africans lost their speedster Seabelo Senatla to a wrist injury. Even though their team had capable replacements including Francois Hougaard, they couldn’t deliver Senatla’s incredibly fast and deadly finishing outwide against the Great Britain.

Their loss of Senatla coupled with a less than perfect execution, lead to a loss by 7-5 to GB. According to Lloyd Burnard of Sport24, the Blitzboks Captain, Kyle Brown admitted to the disappointment of losing the semi-final.

“We were completely heartbroken after that semi-final… There were some really heavy heads in the change-room,” Brown recounted.

However, the South Africans showed their Olympic spirit by pulling themselves together and beating Japan by 54-14 to win bronze.

It may not be gold, but it still feels “incredibly special” according to Brown, as per the Burnard article.

“It’s a great place to be, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” he said.

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