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Springbok World Cup winner James Small dies of a heart attack

Athletics BizNews.com

Former Springbok wing James Small, a member of the 1995 Rugby World Cup winning squad, has died suddenly from a heart attack.
'By David O’Sullivan James Small died today from a sudden heart attack, aged 50. Considered one of the more colourful, rebellious and hard-living players of his time, he played 47 times for the Springboks, 44 times on the wing and three times at fullback. He was on the winning side 28 times, and scored 20 tries. He made history on three notable occasions – playing in the first Test after readmission (24-27 defeat to New Zealand at Ellis Park in 1992), winning the Rugby World Cup in 1995 (15-12 victory over New Zealand at Ellis Park in 1995), and being the first Springbok to be sent off in a Test match (20-28 defeat to Australia in Brisbane in 1993). Small had the reputation of being a tough, no-nonsense player, a reputation he cultivated off the field. But a small scratch of the surface revealed an emotional, deep-thinking individual. This was a side he rarely allowed the public to see. Like so many in the rugby community, our thoughts are with the family and friends of @Springboks legend James Small today. #RIPJamesSmall — Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) July 10, 2019 I knew James well enough to enjoy a few beers in his company. The last time I saw him was last Thursday when we met up at the Southern Sun Hyde Park and made tentative arrangements to hook up in Yokohama for the Springboks’ opening game of the Rugby World Cup against New Zealand. He was going to Japan with several teammates from the 1995 World Cup-winning squad. He told me they were all furious with Faf du Plessis for saying that not winning the Cricket World Cup wasn’t the end of the world. “Bull@#$&!!” he said with his usual exuberance, “it’s a matter of life and death! We didn’t have that approach in 1995!” I interviewed James many times over the years. The best interviews we recorded were for a documentary series about the Springboks at the World Cup that I made in 2011 for SABC Sport. I have been watching the raw footage once again, and I’m struck by the number of times his eyes fill up with tears as he remembers key moments of the 1995 World Cup campaign. James Small gave me my first and only paying job outside of music. I was 18 made R6000 to do a graffiti banner. Bought 6 pairs or Jordans and told my mum she ain’t had to worry about sneakers. You were a legend then, you are a legend now, thank you for the great memories RIP. — STOGIE T (@TumiMolekane) July 10, 2019 He gets particularly tearful and stops talking when he remembers the unlikely relationship he had with Nelson Mandela. When they met for the first time at the Boks’ training camp at Silvermine in Cape Town, the President made a point of engaging James in conversation, telling him that his grandson had a poster of James on his bedroom wall. “That just picked me up”, he recalled. He recounted how Mandela stopped to talk to him while being introduced to the players on the field just before kick-off in the World Cup final, putting his hand on James’ shoulder wishing him well against the fearsome Jonah Lomu. He wasn’t proud of his record of being the first Bok to get a red card. He swore at referee Ed Morrison during the Bok defeat against Australia in Brisbane in 1993 and remained adamant the Englishman deserved it. Morrison later took charge of the World Cup final. He loved to talk about the World Cup final, admitting that the day was such a blur. He didn’t remember arriving at Ellis Park, he didn’t remember that Nelson Mandela came into their dressing room for a few motivational words. He remembered seeing Jonah Lomu, the All Black giant whose rivalry with James was much hyped before the game. Lomu was wearing a pair of headphones and James was struck more by the size of the headphones than the size of the individual. Absolutely gutted to here the news that James Small had passed away!! Had the pleasure of spending some with passionate man. Condolences to his family during this time. RIP James pic.twitter.com/dNYyGUFpmS — Allan Donald (@AllanDonald33) July 10, 2019 He remembered how the gigantic lock Kobus Wiese stood in front of him during the haka, sending out the message to the New Zealanders that if you want to hit James, you have to come through him first. He remembered that he was never called upon to pull off try-saving tackles on Lomu. That job fell to Chester Williams, Japie Mulder and Joost van der Westhuizen . He preferred to “scrag him, pull his neck and do whatever I could to keep him busy”. On attack, James was confident he could beat Lomu with pace, knowing he was nimbler and quicker than the larger Kiwi. He remembered how he cramped up and missed the last few minutes of the match, stumbling in agony as the clock wound down to history. When asked if winning the World Cup was the greatest elation he’d ever felt, he gave an emphatic reply. “No! The birth of my children…!” And then the tears welled up again. – David O’Sullivan RIP James Small (1969-2019) From Springbok Rugby Former Springbok wing James Small, a member of the 1995 Rugby World Cup winning squad, has died suddenly from a heart attack on Wednesday. The 50-year-old Small was rushed to hospital in Johannesburg on Tuesday night after suffering from a suspected heart attack. Mr Mark Alexander , President of SA Rugby, passed on his condolences to Small’s family and friends. “James, as a member of the triumphant Rugby World Cup squad from 1995, will always have a special place in the hearts and minds of the South African public and we were devastated to hear of his passing,” said Mr Alexander. “He always played with the type of passion and courage that encapsulate what Springbok rugby stands for, and he lived his life in the same way. “At 50 years old, James Small died too young. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends during this very sad time.” After losing to NSW in Australia in '93 James came to me, doing commentary with Quirkie, said; the team needs \'gees\' we organised a boat trip the following day with a guitar and lots of beer, the next Sat the Sprinboks beat Aus. Always a favourite moment he said! RIP James Small — Schalk Burger (@skalabrak) July 10, 2019 Small made his debut for the Springboks against New Zealand in Johannesburg in 1992 and played in 47 Tests until 1997. He scored 20 Test tries, with the last of those in his final match in the Green and Gold, against Scotland – a try which, at that stage, broke Danie Gerber’s Test record. In total, Small donned the Green and Gold 60 times, scoring 27 tries. He played Tests against New Zealand, Australia, Western Samoa, Fiji, France, Italy, Romania, England, Scotland, Argentina and the British & Irish Lions. I'm shocked and v saddened to hear about James Small. Not the easiest oke to ref on the field but one of the kindest off it. Amazing self belief and always keen to challenge, its probably what made him special. A hero, a great Bok, a friend. RIP Bro. You made the most of life! — Jonathan Kaplan (@RefJK) July 10, 2019 In his provincial career, Small played for the Golden Lions (then Transvaal), Sharks (then Natal) and Western Province, appearing in Currie Cup finals for all three sides and lifting the coveted golden cup in the colours of the Sharks and WP, but never with the Golden Lions. In recent years, Small turned to coaching, and assisted Robert du Preez at NWU-Pukke and the Leopards before joining Pirates in Johannesburg as assistant coach. Small is the fourth member of the Springbok squad from 1995 to pass away, after Kitch Christie (coach), Ruben Kruger (flank) and Joost van der Westhuizen (scrumhalf). Source:  https://springboks.rugby/en/articles/2019/07/10/RIP-James-Small'

Tour de France 2019 Yellow Jersey: General Classification standings

Athletics The South African

Get the latest General Classification (Yellow Jersey) standings from the 2019 Tour de France here.
'Geraint Thomas will face mountains galore and a wide cast of rivals, even within his own camp, when the three-week Tour de France begins on the cobbled streets of Brussels on Saturday. To celebrate a centenary of the iconic race leader’s yellow jersey, organisers chose the Belgian capital, home of all-time great Eddy Merckx. A bike-mad public is expected to give the Tour a raucous sendoff 50 years after the great Belgian won the first of his five Tours. Also read Tour de France 2019: Route map, stage profiles, dates and distance Why Mark Cavendish won’t be riding the 2019 Tour de France Yellow Jersey centenary – a unique jersey for every stage Tour de France 2019: General Classification standings The full standings appear below and will update as riders finish. You might need to refresh your browser to see the latest standings. Stage leaders appear below the table. Table will be published after day one. Yellow Jersey: Leaders by stage Stage standings will be updated at the end of each day. You might need to refresh your browser to see the latest. Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7 Stage 8 Stage 9 Stage 10 Stage 11 Stage 12 Stage 13 Stage 14 Stage 15 Stage 16 Stage 17 Stage 18 Stage 19 Stage 20 Stage 21'

Tour de France: Yellow, Green, White and Polka Dot jerseys explained

Athletics The South African

The Tour de France is most famous for its Yellow Jersey, but there's much more at stake than the maillot jaune. Here's what you need to know.
'As cycling fans across the globe turn their eyes to the Tour de France from 6-28 July, Geraint Thomas will be looking to defend the highly coveted Yellow Jersey. Although this is the main prize on offer, those less familiar with the tour might be unaware that the peloton will also be battling it out for three other prestigious prizes. If you are a casual Tour de France observer or a new cycling fan, our brief Tour de France jerseys 101 crash course offers you everything you need to know. Also read: Tour de France 2019: Route map, stage profiles, dates and distance Why Mark Cavendish won’t be riding the 2019 Tour de France Yellow Jersey centenary – a unique jersey for every stage Yellow Jersey ( maillot jaune ) This is awarded to the Tour de Franceleader in terms of overall time. The jersey, like all others at the Tour deFrance, changes hands based on ranking at the end of each stage before theoverall winner claims the prize at the end of the tour. The 90s kids can be forgiven for associating the  maillot jaune  with Lance Armstrong, but his doping cost him the overall record for tour wins as he was stripped of his seven titles. As a result, Belgium’s Eddy Merckx currently holds the record with five — earned in 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1974. Green Jersey ( maillot vert ) The Green Jersey, generally regardedas a sprinter’s jersey, is awarded to the rider with the most points at the endof each stage, eventually going to the overall points winner of the Tour deFrance. Some points can be earned during mid-stage sprints, but the majorityare awarded to the first 10-25 riders to cross the finish line. Although the  maillotvert  is a secondary classification, it is by no means an easy prize towin. This is evidenced by the fact that only four of 169 overall tour championshave ever finished first on points: Jan Janssen, Ferdinand Kübler, BernardHinault and Eddy Merckx. The record for the most Green Jersey triumphs at theTour de France is six, shared by Peter Sagan and Erik Zabel. Polka Dot Jersey This is a jersey reserved for theking of the mountains, the rider with the most points in the designatedclimbing sections of each stage. Points are earned here by the riders who reachthe summit first. Climbs are ranked according to difficulty from category 1(most challenging) to category 4 (least strenuous), with more points beingawarded for success on tougher climbs. The winner of the Polka Dot Jersey isoften a small-built, energetic climber. It is little surprise, then, thatlightweight Richard Virenque is the most decorated climber of all time atthe Tour de France with seven King of the Mountains crowns. White Jersey ( maillot blanc ) Essentially, this is like the YellowJersey but exclusively open to Tour de France contenders under the age of 25.The highest-placed young rider in the general classification wins the prize. Few will be surprised to know thatJan Ullrich, who fought several fierce battles with Lance Armstrong at hispeak, sits joint top of the historical list having won the young riders’classification on three occasions. Only Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck has matchedthe German’s total.'