The Blitzboks took bronze in their rugby sevens game against Japan at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.
South Africa outplayed Japan 54-14 in the bronze play-off match, scoring eight tries in the process.
A hat-trick by Rosko Specman earned him a spot in the record books as the first South African player to score three tries in a match at the Olympic Games.
Specman’s tries were aided by five-pointers from Cecil Afrika (2), Juan de Jongh, Justin Geduld and Cheslin Kolbe.
The match against Japan followed the 7-5 loss to Great Britain in the semifinals. Fiji, who overpowered the Japanese in the other semifinal, beat Great Britain to take the gold medal.
The semifinal against Great Britain was a frustrating one for the Blitzboks.
They created a number of chances, but only had a try by Kyle Brown to show at the halftime break. The 5-0 lead was overhauled shortly after the restart though as Dan Norton scored for Britain and the conversion put them into a 7-5 lead.
Earlier, the team suffered a setback when try-scoring ace Seabelo Senatla was ruled out due to a wrist injury.
Coach Neil Powell said it was a special moment for them.
“Obviously we wanted gold, but bronze is also a great achievement for the team. I want to congratulate Fiji and Great Britain with their gold and silver medals, it was well deserved.”