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Double gold for Venter as SA medal count reaches 59

Another nine medals came the way of the South African team on the penultimate day of the XII CANA African Swimming Championships at the Stadium Swimming Pool in Bloemfontein.
Leading the medal charge was 16-year-old Mariella Venter, who took over a second off Mandy Loots’ 2010 Championship Record in the 200-metre backstroke, touching the wall in a golden 2 min 14.33 sec ahead of teammate Nathania van Niekerk in 2:15.49 and Seychelles’ Alexus Laird in 2:22.67.
Venter and Van Niekerk were also a part of the 4x100m medley relay team alongside Kaylene Corbett and Gabi Grobler and made the top of the medal podium in 4:18.92 ahead of Egypt in 4:21.71 and Algeria in 4:38.26.
Jarryd Baxter and Neil Fair followed with a gold- and silver-winning performance in the 200m individual medley in 2:04.68 and 2:05.37, respectively, while Egypt’s Mohamed Samy claimed the bronze in 2:08.22.
In the women’s 1500m freestyle race, Charlise Oberholzer and Michelle Weber won gold and bronze in 17:20.44 and 17:55.43, while Algeria’s Souad Nefissa Cheroua claimed silver in 17:44.35.
During the morning heats session, Douglas Erasmus broke the 2006 Championship record in the 50m freestyle in 22.50 but that time was bettered in the evening finals by Algeria’s Oussama Sahnoune, who won the gold in 22.30, while Erasmus had to settle for the silver in 22.55. Egypt’s Samy won his second bronze of the evening in 23.08.
The 200m butterfly title was claimed by Algeria’s Sarah Hadj Abderrahma in 2:15.46, while the silver and bronze went to Egypt’s Mariam Sakr and Rowaida Hesham in 2:18.88 and 2:20.00, respectively.
Jacques van Wyk, Alaric Basson, Alard Basson and Calvyn Justus closed the sixth day of the competition by winning the 4x100m medley relay, clocking 3:44.60. Egypt and Morocco claimed the silver and bronze in 3:51.91 and 3:38.31 respectively.
Sunday sees the final day of the XII CANA African Swimming Championships with the Open Water 5km races taking place at the Maselspoort Dam from 11:00.
As part of their community outreach initiative, Swimming South Africa will also host a Rural Splash programme at the dam from 09:00, where 60 kids have been identified to take part and 10 of them will showcase their talent as they also participate in the 1km race and another 10 will take part in the 400m fun swim.
Swimming South Africa’s qualified instructors will be on site to educate the youngsters on the importance of water safety education, vital swimming and survival skills.
After the completion of the pool swimming section of the championships, South Africa have now won 59 medals (32 gold, 16 silver and 11 bronze).

Picture of Venter in action courtesy of Gerhard Steenkamp/SuperImage Media


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