/ 9 September 2011

SA swimmers stack up the medals

The South African swimming team surpassed their medal total from the previous All Africa Games on Friday with one day in hand in Maputo, Mozambique.

The swimmers stacked up 12 medals on the fifth day of the swimming competition, taking their medal haul to 60 — seven more than they won in the previous continental Games held in Algiers, Algeria.

On Friday, South African freestyle specialist Karin Prinsloo added two more medals to the six she has already won at this year’s Games.

Prinsloo’s first medal of the day came in the women’s 50m freestyle, where she was quick out of the blocks to comfortably win in 25.98 seconds.

She was followed by Nicole Horn, of Zimbabwe, who posted a time of 26.73, and Suzaan van Biljon, in 26.75.

A race later, Prinsloo (21) finished her Games off with a gold medal as part of the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team with Mandy Loots, Suzaan van Biljon and Natasha de Vos.

Prinsloo said she had picked up a lot of experience racing against Zimbabwean swimmer Kirsty Coventry.

“I think it was good to race against Kirsty, I’ve learnt so much and I think there are still a lot of things I can improve on.

“I am really happy with my performances and I did not expect to do this well, so now it is back to hard training,” she said.

South African swimming sensation Chad le Clos dominated his specialist 200m butterfly event, touching first in 1:56.37.

Le Clos once again locked horns with Kenyan Jason Dunford (24) who he narrowly lost to in the 100m butterfly on Tuesday.

This time around, the Kenyan had little on the younger South African, finishing behind Le Clos in 2:02.52 with Pedro Pinotes, of Angola, third in 2:05.47.

The 19-year-old Le Clos has won four medals at his maiden All Africa Games — three of them golds and one silver.

In the women’s 200m individual medley, South Africa clinched two more medals with Mandy Loots in second place and Kathryn Meaklim third.

They were beaten by Coventry, who finished in 2:13.70. Loots clocked 2:15.71 and Meaklim touched in 2:18.60.

South Africa had a dominant showing in the men’s 100m backstroke with Charl Crous cruising to victory in 55.26. Darren Murray finished just behind him in 55.96.

In the Paralympic events, Natalie du Toit won gold in the 100m backstroke in 1:10.86, followed by Shireen Sapiro in 1:11.73.

South African swimmer Achmat Hassiem won the men’s 100m multi-disability backstroke in 1:11.39 with Kevin Waller taking silver in 1:18.62. — Sapa