SA swimmers dominate in Algeria

South Africa continued to dominate swimming at the All Africa Games, winning five out of six gold medals on Friday.

Amanda Loots won the women’s 50m butterfly in 27,60 seconds, Melissa Corfe the women’s 200m freestyle in 2:02,45, and Suzaan van Biljon the women’s 200m breaststroke in 2:32,30.

Riaan Schoeman won by more than five seconds in the men’s 400m medley with a time of 4:21,91. The men’s 4x200m relay team rounded off the day, winning in 7:31,70.

Corfe, Schoeman and the relay team also set new All Africa Games records.

“It was a lot better than I expected because at the moment I’m in heavy training, so these are pretty good times for me,” said Schoeman, who won his second gold of the day in the 4x200m relay. “It’s part of my preparation for Olympic trials next year and at the moment I’m looking pretty good.”

South Africa increased their medal haul in the pool to 18 out of 36 medals over the first two days of competition.

“There’s a lot of confidence and it’s great that we’re winning all these medals,” Schoeman said.
“It’s my first senior tour, so I’m enjoying it.”

Only victory for Algeria’s Nabil Kebbab in the men’s 200m freestyle prevented a clean sweep of victories for South Africa.

Kebbab set a Games record with a time of 1:50,30, giving home fans something to cheer about when he narrowly edged out South Africa’s Jean Basson by three-100ths of a second.

“This morning I started with the idea of winning this title and I saw that with the crowd I couldn’t miss it,” Kebbab said.

The All Africa Games run until July 23. About 8 000 athletes are competing in 27 sports. Other events taking place on the first two days of the games include soccer, boxing and judo.

In men’s basketball on Friday, South Africa lost to Algeria 59-65 in Group A.

Matthew Jago won bronze in judo and Jared New won bronze in the men’s epee. South Africa also fared well in soccer, beating Ghana 2-0. In boxing, Owethu Mbira is through to the quarterfinals.

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