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Gauteng make the biggest medal splash at schools championships

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The Gauteng schools were the undisputed winners of the 2017 National SA Schools Swimming Championships with a total of 154 medals (74 gold, 48 silver and 32 bronze), as the competition successfully concluded at the Polokwane Swimming Pool in Limpopo on Thursday.

The event, which was organised by Sport and Recreation South Africa, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, Swimming South Africa and National Schools Aquatics, has seen four days of fast times and great potential from both schools and swimming clubs.

The first race of the afternoon was the 400-metres freestyle, which saw the boys’ gold medals going to KZN’s Leshen Pillay (13) in 4min 58.43sec and Gauteng’s Janco Rademeyer (17) in 4:26.62, while the winning women were Free State’s Chloe le Roux (13) in 4:49.75 and Mpumalanga’s Jordyn Minifie (16) in 4:44.54.

Pillay also scooped the bronze medal in the 100m butterfly in 1:11.69.

North West’s Pieter Coetze (13) was victorious on two occasions, clocking the fastest times in both the 50m backstroke and 100m butterfly in 31.17 and 1:05.40, while the remaining age group gold medals went to Gauteng’s William Roos (12),  Mpumalanga’s Giano dos Santos (15) and Limpopo’s Heinrich Strydom (17) in 33.57, 29.91 and 28.87, respectively.

The girls’ hotly contested 50m backstroke saw some amazing swims from KZN’s Ashley Ebing (12) and Cara Message (13), Eastern Cape’s Alexia Velde (14) and Chloe Velde (16), who won their age group races in 34.88, 33.82, 32.25 and 31.71.

There were also fast times in the 100m butterfly with Gauteng’s Kian Keylock (12), Western Cape’s Eugene van der Merwe (15) and Limpopo’s Ivan Beukes (17)  bagging the gold in their respective age categories in 1:11.03, 1:01.46 and 58.58, while on the girls’ side, the first places went to KZN’s Emma Christianson (12) in 1:11.26, Free State’s Luchelle Oosthuizen (13) in 1:12.15, North West’s Idele du Toit (15) in 1:09.32 and Western Cape’s Kristen Straszacker (17) in 1:06.97.

Ending the event with three gold medals was Gauteng’s Thulane Mabuza (S10), adding the multi-disability 100m backstroke to his tally in 1:19.22, while Mpumalanga’s Naysi Strauss (S14) won her respective race in 2:00.75.

In the 50m multi-disability freestyle, the gold was claimed by Western Cape’s Adin Pieters (S15) in 30.50, with the girls’ first places going to Mpumalanga’s Gene Prinsloo (S14) in 51.46 and Gauteng’s Bongekile Sabeka (S10) in 37.99.

Picture of some of the victorious Gauteng swimmers and the vital supporting staff courtesy of Cresi Heslop

Final Medals Table:
Province Gold Silver Bronze Total
Gauteng Schools 74 48 32 154
KZN Aquatics 38 36 35 109
Mpumalanga 12 14 16 42
Free State Schools 12 14 13 39
Eastern Cape Aquatics 9 8 9 26
Limpopo Schools  7 13 14 34
Western Cape Schools Association 6 13 21 40
North West Swimming  5 4 3 12


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