SOUTH AFRICA: Racing meeting marks return of live sport to South Africa

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The Greyville track in Durban, South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) – A horse racing meeting in Durban Monday marked the return of live sport to South Africa two months into a national lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was the first sporting event since March 26 as the government downgraded the five-tier shutdown from level four to three and permitted non-contact sport behind closed doors.

The all-weather Greyville track in the Indian Ocean city hosted the races, which featured 12- or 14-horse fields.

Tromso, a 22/1 outsider ridden by Thabiso Gumede , was the shock winner of the opening race, a 1,000-metre maiden plate, ahead of 8/11 favourite Thomas Henry.

Football, rugby and cricket are the major sports in South Africa and they have been given permission by the government to resume training, but no dates to restart playing.

Official health ministry figures released Sunday said 32,683 people had been infected by the COVID-19 disease in South Africa with 683 deaths.