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African Games silver for South Africa’s Snyman

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Gold was desperately close for the student, but instead of dwelling on what might have been Snyman preferred to look at the reality of the situation

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South Africa’s Unelle Snyman added another silver medal to her growing medals collection after going down narrowly in the women’s 78kg division judo final at the African Games in Rabat on Sunday.

The silver matches that which she won at the African Championships in Cape Town in April and it came after a titanic struggle with Sarah Mazouz of Ghana, where only one point (1-0) separated the two fighters inside the arena at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium.

Despite finishing strongly, the end had come too soon for the 23-year-old. However, what’s in no doubt is that she will live to fight another day. It is also Team SA’s second medal of these Games, following judo teammate Michaela Whitebooi’s silver in the women’s 48kg division on Saturday.

Gold was desperately close for the student, but instead of dwelling on what might have been Snyman preferred to look at the reality of the situation.

“I gave it my all, I did. There are no excuses. I tried my grips, various techniques, but it wasn’t meant to be. She got the early hold down (for the point) and that’s all it took. She also had two penalties against her, but I can’t complain.

“As I walked on I just prayed that I could represent something that’s more than worldly, you know, light and salt of the earth and I think I did. Unfortunately, I couldn’t pull through with the gold, but I gave it everything I had,” she added.

For coach Nikola Filipov it was something of a bittersweet moment. “I’m proud of Unelle, she gave all she could. For me, it was, by far, the best final on the programme and when one is involved in a fight like that there are no losers.”

African News Agency (ANA)