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More gold for Gallagher as SA stars shine at grand prix

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Erin Gallagher, Rebecca Meder and Ayrton Sweeney produced a thrilling final day’s action at the SA Swimming Grand Prix at the Stellenbosch University Swimming Pool on Sunday.

The trio of Gallagher, Inge Weidemann and Emma Chelius dominated the 100 freestyle and 50-metre butterfly races when they claimed the first three positions, with Gallagher touching the wall in 55.95 and 27.53 seconds, respectively.

Weidemann claimed the silver in the freestyle in 57.58 to Chelius’ 57.50, while Chelius finished second in the butterfly event in 28.27 to Weidemann’s 28.51.

Meder was in top form as she bagged the gold in the 400m individual medley in 4:54.59 ahead of Jana Botha in 5:19.69 and Kiara Barnes in 5:25.18, and later in the day went on to win the bronze in the 400m freestyle in 4:25.72, behind Kristin Bellingan in 4:22.57 and Kate Beavon in 4:25.70.

Sweeney’s golden time of 2:03.10 saw him claim the top spot in the 200m individual medley, over four seconds ahead of Luan Grobbelaar in 2:08.32 and Henju Duvenhage in 2:14.96, with Sweeney’s second medal coming in the 100m breaststroke, a bronze as he clocked 1:03.06 behind Michael Houlie in 1:02.42 and Alaric Basson in 1:02.89.

Grobbelaar also went on to win the bronze in the 200m backstroke in 2:11.65 behind Martin Binedell in 2:03.29 and Ian Venter in 2:09.81, while Duvenhage walked away with the silver in the 100m butterfly in 55.92 ahead of Gavin Smith in 56.71 and behind Alard Basson in 55.51.

Later in the day, Venter went one better in the 200m freestyle, winning the gold in 1:56.27 ahead of Grobbelaar in 1:56.87 and Smith in 1:59.41.

Kaylene Corbett took the honors in the 50m breaststroke in 33.05, while Hanim Abrahams finished second in 33.08 and Marna Heymans third in 34.12.

Corbett also walked away with the gold in the 200m breaststroke in 2:28.54, while Abrahams was on top of the medal podium in the 200m butterfly in 2:26.41.

In the long distance 1500m freestyle, the gold and silver went to Henre Louw in 16:30.43 and Ethan de Preez in 16:32.66, while Jacques van Wyk took home the 50m backstroke title in 26.81, ahead of Jack Oliver in 27.23 and Chris King in 27.80.

In the 100m backstroke, Mariella Venter was victorious in 1:04.25, while Kerryn Herbst finished second in 1:06.18 and Olivia Nel third in 1:06.35, with the gold in the 50m freestyle going to Douglas Erasmus in 22.99, ahead of Alaric Basson in 24.13 and Bryce Pendock in 24.17.

Pictures of Sweeney (main picture) and Chelius (centre, second from left in silver cap) courtesy of Thys Lombard


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