Canadian speedster Justin Douglas celebrated his 25th birthday with the 130th try of his career, but it wasn't enough for Canada to beat Argentina in their opening match on Friday at the Hong Kong Sevens.
The Hong Kong Sevens continues this weekend, live on Sky Sports Action, with England seeking to continue their good start against Spain and USA.
Douglas, Canada's all-time try leader, had missed the two previous stops due to a concussion.
Japan threatened an upset as they still led early in the second half, but a try by Werner Kok put the Blitzboks in the lead, and two more tries by Justin Geduld and Siviwe Soyizwapi sealed the deal for South Africa.
Norton broke the record set by Collins Injera at the 2017 tournament.
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Captained by Helen Nelson, they defeated Belgium 31-12 in Pool A in the opening match of the tournament, scoring five tries, then lost 27-19 to Japan in their second game.
In their Sydney 7s semifinal match, New Zealand beat Fiji 36-14 and in their Las Vegas 7s Cup quarterfinal match New Zealand also beat Fiji 19-14.
New Zealand have gotten off to the ideal start at the Hong Kong Sevens, trouncing trans-Tasman rivals Australia 40-19 in their opening pool match.
Fiji joined the All Blacks Sevens in winning their first Pool C contest by claiming a 22-5 victory over Kenya in a rematch of last year's Hong Kong Sevens final.