• Hougaard gets medal back

    Francois Hougaard was presented with another Olympic bronze medal on Thursday.

    Hougaard was called up to join the Blitzboks (playing as Team SA) for the final day’s play at the Olympic Games as a replacement for Senatla, who injured his wrist on day two of the three-day tournament.

    Hougaard played in the semi-final against Great Britain and the third-place playoff against Japan with Senatla in the stands. A couple of hours later, he was on the podium to receive one of the 12 medals given to the players.

    As Hougaard departed for South Africa the next day, he insisted that Senatla, who played in all the tournaments leading up to the Games, should take the bronze medal, as he felt the winger deserved it more, being the standout player for the team all year. Hougaard then left Rio without a medal.

    Thanks to some requests and work behind the scenes from Team SA and Sascoc officials, Blitzboks manager Ashley Evert, as well as Hari Coelho, medal ceremonies manager in Rio, and Marjorie Enya, competition services manager, an extra medal was found and dispatched to South Africa.

    The medal was given to Hougaard by fellow Blitzbok Juan de Jongh, upon the Springbok touring squad assembly for the Rugby Championship matches in Brisbane and Christchurch and prior to departure to Australia.

    'This is a wonderful surprise and something I really didn’t expect,' said Hougaard. 'When I gave the medal Seabelo, I felt he deserved it more than I did, and I still feel so, but having played a part in Rio, I’m very grateful to have received this medal and I would like to thank everyone involved in making it possible. It’s something I will cherish for many years as one of the best moments of my rugby career.'

    Post by

    Simon Borchardt