Harare – After claiming an Olympic medal on Tuesday, South African surfer Bianca Buitendag immediately announced her retirement from the sport.
The 27-year-old scooped a maiden Olympic medal by grabbing silver after losing in the final to four-time world champion Clarissa Moore of the United States at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach during the Tokyo Games.
Buitendag then surprised many by declaring: “It’s a (historic) moment, I’ll only realise the magnitude in a few days, but it’s awesome. It’s also the last contest of my life, so I went out with a bang.
“I’ve made the most of a lot of the opportunities given and never really let one slip past. It’s time to carry on with the next season of my life.”
Buitendag also said, “You guys have no idea (what it means to me). But every obstacle just gave me more motivation to make my country and its beautiful people proud. I surprised myself, I promise you. I’m overwhelmed, I don’t even know what to say.”
Buitendag silver was South Africa’s second at the Games after swimmer Tatjana Schoenmaker’s clinched silver in the 100m breaststroke. South Africa is still the only country from Southern Africa to win a medal at this year’s Games.