SA swimmers add 11 medals to All Africa Games tally

The South African swimming team added 11 medals on Monday to the four won by the triathletes at the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique.

The swimmers captured five gold, three silver and bronze medals at the swimming complex at the Zimpeto National Stadium.

Karin Prinsloo (21) was the star on the first-day of the swimming finals, winning the 100m freestyle and 50m backstroke, and in the women’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay team.

The Pretoria swimmer finished first in the women’s 100m freestyle in a time of 56.05 seconds.

She led the race from start to finish and comfortably touched first to clinch her first medal and in the process improved on the meet record she set earlier during the heats.

Prinsloo came close to improving Lize-Mari Retief’s African record of 55.17, missing it by less than a second.

Compatriot Roxanne Tammadge missed out on a medal chance when she finished in fourth place in a time of 59.33sec.

Prinsloo featured again in the 50m backstroke where she and veteran swimmer Mandy Loots were involved in a two-horse race.

However, it was Prinsloo who got the better of her senior as she touched first, clocking a time of 29.28sec.

Loots finished behind her, posting a time of 29.76sec.

Meanwhile, world record holder Cameron van der Burgh turned second in the men’s 100m breaststroke behind Wassim Elloumi of Tunisia, but accelerated past him to win with a time of 1:02.44.

Elloumi finished second in a time of 1:03.17.

South Africa continued its medal haul when Bianca Meyer and Cathryn Meaklim came up against Zimbabwean swimming legend Kirsty Coventry in the 400m individual medley.

Coventry won easily in a time of 4:44.34 with Meaklim second in 4:46.33 and Meyer third in 4:51.20.

In the men’s 200m freestyle, Darian Townsend was pipped at the death by Ahmed Mathlouthi of Tunisia after leading for most of the race.

Mathlouthi posted a winning time of 1:48.95 with Townsend second in 1:49.04. African record holder Jean Basson clinched bronze in 1:51.06.

In the men’s 50m backstroke, Charl Crous took the gold medal in a time of 26.06 to beat Jason Dunford of Kenya who finished second in 26.19.

Fellow South African Garth Tune took third place in 26.74.

The South African quartet of Tammadge, Rene Warnes, Dominique Dryding and Prinsloo had the final say of the evening as they easily won the women’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay.

Earlier in the day on the soccer field, South African women’s team Banyana Banyana convincingly beat Zimbabwe 4-1 in a Group B match.—Sapa

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