Team SA flag-bearer Michael Houlie is still basking in the glory of winning the men’s 50m gold medal at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, the first South African to win a swimming gold since Chad le Cos in 2010.
Houlie’s feat brought the total number of swimming medals for Team SA to two, the first one being from Dune Coetzee, the first South African female swimmer to medal at a Youth Olympics, winning silver in the 200m butterfly, posting a new Team SA age-group record in the process, clocking 2min 11.71sec.
Houlie secured gold and clocked a time of 27.51sec, denying China’s Jiajun Sun the 50-100m breaststroke double.
Houlie produced the fastest time of the semi-finals, winning his race in 27.33, which was faster than his morning heats time of 27.99.
‘After the disappointing start in the 100m swim, I had to bounce back and I won gold, and I’m super happy about that,’ said Houlie.
‘I expected the gold, I was confident and had self-belief. My coach and I have been working really hard on this and we knew it was possible.’
Earlier in the competition, Houlie was dubbed to be the favourite to win the men’s 100m breaststroke final, but only managed to clock 1min 01.70sec, placing him in fifth position.
‘I’m bit disappointed with my results in the 100m, I know I could have done really well over there. Everyone said I was the favourite for the gold, and it just didn’t work on the night,’ Houlie said.
The 18-year-old will be in action again later in the year in Botswana.
‘After the exams, I will be participating at the U20 Youth African Games in Botswana, that will be a fun competition, then I’m off to the US for studies.’
Photo: Image of Michael Houlie at the medal ceremony supplied