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Five South Africans were among the 25 inductees into the World Rugby Hall of Fame. The ceremony, conducted in England as they host the 2015 World Cup, honoured players who have made a positive impact on the world game.
When Natalie du Toit announced her retirement from competitive sport on completing her programme at the 2012 London Paralympics, she did so not only as the most successful South African Paralympian of all time, but as one of the most important figures in the history of disability sport.
Basil D'Oliveira never played for South Africa, yet was nominated one of the country's cricketers of the 20th century. While it was England that benefited from D'Oliveira's prowess with bat and ball, it was, ultimately, South Africa that was rewarded most by his actions on and off the field.
Gary Player was on a roll back in 1965. Besides a string of victories around the world, he'd just won the US Open to complete golf's Grand Slam of majors. In the 1965 Natal Open, however, he played second fiddle to a self-taught golfer who had spent more time on the course as a caddie than as a player - and who held his club completely the "wrong" way.
Elana Meyer was among the world's elite athletes for over 10 years, establishing world records at 15 kilometres and the half marathon, and boasting five of the 15 best half marathon times in history, a consistency matched by few other athletes.
A left-handed batsman who struck the ball with immaculate timing, making the game look at once simple and stunning, Graeme Pollock was arguably the greatest left-hander in cricket history, with a test average second only to Sir Donald Bradman.
When South African rugby fans named Frik du Preez the country's rugby player of the twentieth century, it was a vote not only for his prodigious performances on the field, but also for his charisma and influence on those around him.
After 21 years without success, Ferrari finally crowned a Formula One world champion in 2000 when Michael Schumacher won the prestigious title. Ironically, it was thanks to this lack of success that the previous Ferrari champion first became known to the new generation of racing fans. He was South Africa's Jody Scheckter.
South Africa has consistently produced good golfers, and Ernie Els ranks among the best of them, one of seven South Africans to have won a major championship. "The Big Easy" is a four-time major winner, having captured the US Open and the oldest title of them all, The Open Championship, twice each.
Before Retief Goosen, before Ernie Els and before Gary Player there was another South African golfer who started the tradition of excellence among players of the southernmost country in Africa: Bobby Locke.
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