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Cameron gets beaten

On a day filled with highlights at the inaugural SA International Invitational Swimming Meet at the Newton Park Swimming Pool in Port Elizabeth, the performance that stood out was that of Brazil’s Fabiola Molina in the 50m backstroke when she claimed the gold in a time of 28.50sec.

Molina was too good for the field that included African record holder Chanelle van Wyk and won by almost 2/10 of a second ahead of Elizabeth Simmonds of the UK. Van Wyk settled for the bronze.

The evening started with wins from Kathryn Meaklim in the 800m freestyle and Gideon Louw in the 100m freestyle. Meaklim was never challenged and was a comfortable winner, but Louw had to work hard for his win.
Germany’s Benjamin Starke had set the fastest time in the morning heat and was considered by many as the favorite. But a solid start saw Louw have the edge, which he never relinquished, touching the wall in 50.30sec ÔÇô ahead of the 50.53sec of Starke.

Kirsty Coventry showed just why she has raked in multiple gold medals at all levels of swimming. Swimming in lane one in the 200m freestyle final, Coventry won comfortably ahead of Brazil’s Tatiana Barbosa (2:02.06 ÔÇô 2:03.54), with South Africa’s Christy Lategan bagging the bronze. Coventry then went on to win the 200m Individual Medley and came second in the 200m backstroke later on.

The much-anticipated 50m breaststroke final for men lived up to its pre-event hype with Brazil’s Joao Gomes edging South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh. World champion and record holder, Van der Burgh had a good start and was about to give his trademark kick, when he ran out of steam and saw Gomes ease past him.

ÔÇ£I’m not disappointed,ÔÇØ said Van der Burgh after the race. ÔÇ£I haven’t shaved yet and have done no speed-work. So I really cannot complain.ÔÇØ Van der Burgh took three weeks off after the World Championships and is now in full preparation for the Olympic Games.

ÔÇ£My focus is London 2012. I have the World Title, the World Record and the Commonwealth Title. Now all that is missing is the Olympic Title. So now we are focusing on that.ÔÇØ

The close competitions continued throughout the evening, as Vanessa Mohr needed a sub 60sec time to win the 100m butterfly final and 1/10 of a second separated the top three in the ladies 100m breaststroke final.

Mohr edged the ÔÇ£Grand DameÔÇØ of South African swimming in the ladies 100m butterfly, clocking 59.90sec. Mandy Loots touching the wall in 1:00.45 ahead of Great Britain’s Fransesca Halsall (1:00.60).

Conchi Badillo (Spain) touched the wall a hair-breadth ahead of Lowri Tynan (GBR) in the 100m breaststroke final, with Suzaan Van Biljon in her comeback after an 18-month study sabbatical. Conchi was timed at 1:10.99 to the 1:11.00 of Tynan and Van Biljon finishing in 1:11.09.

Chad le Clos is beginning to make the 200m butterfly his own. Le Clos who had won the gold at the Commonwealth Games in the 200m fly had no problems in taking the victory. During his 1:58.34 win, Le Clos had time to casually glance at Dylan Bosch to make sure he was not creeping up on him.

The race of the evening was undoubtedly the men’s 200m breaststroke final in which William Diering and Marco Kock (GER) dead heated with a time of 2:15.11. It was a real tight battle, as Diering ÔÇ£wonÔÇØ the first 50m, Kock making up the time by the halfway mark; Diering surging in the third 50m and Kock chasing him down in the final 50m.

Sunday’s second and final day started with the heats at 9.30am with free entry to the public and the finals commencing at 5.30pm.

For full results from the SA International Invitational Swimming Meet, please visit: