The South African swimming team opened the aquatics programme of the 11th African Games in spectacular fashion, claiming six medals (four gold and two silver) and setting two new Championship Records in Brazzaville on Sunday. Cameron Van Der Burgh blew away the opposition in the 100 metres breaststroke final, securing South Africa’s first gold medal in a new Championship Record time of 1:00.19, ahead of Egypt’s Yossif Elkamash in 1:02.42 and Tunisia’s Wassim Elloumi in 1:02.79.
Alaric Basson finished sixth in the race in 1:03.73. Myles Brown followed with a gold medal winning performance in the 200m freestyle, touching the wall in a new Championship Record time of 1:47.77. Egypt’s Marwan Elkamash won the silver in 1:48.58 and Tunisia’s Ahmed Mathlouti the bronze in 1:49.29.
KZN’s Calvyn Justus ended fourth in the event with a time of 1:49.58. In the 50m backstroke, Western Province’s Jessica Ashley Cooper was fast off the block to win the title in 29.05, ahead of Botswana’s Naomi Ruele in 29.70 and Seychelles’ Alexus Laird in 30.07. Limpopo’s Rita Naude finished fifth in 30.58.
The ladies were not done for the night as Rene Warnes, Marlies Ross, Charlise Oberholzer and Karin Prinsloo grabbed the gold medal in the 4 x 200m freestyle relay in 8:20.28. Prinsloo also went on to win the silver in the 100m freestyle with a time of 55.69, ahead of Egypt’s Rwan Elbadry in 57.03 and behind gold medalist Farida Osman, also from Egypt, in 55.41. South Africa’s second silver medal came from Ricky Ellis in the 50m backstroke when he clocked 25.89 behind Egypt’s Mohamed Samy in 25.71.
In other results, Ross finished fourth in the 400m freestyle in 5:01.79, while Megan Van Wyk came in sixth in the same event in 5:03.06. Ross also ended in fifth place in the 100m freestyle in 57.94.
Photo credit: WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN / SASPA