There was a fitting conclusion to the Mpumalanga leg of the South African Swimming Grand Prix in Nelspruit on Sunday night, as the country’s finest once again proved there’s no shortage of local talent.
Carmen le Roux (17) led the charge with three gold medals in the 400-metre freestyle, the 400m individual medley and the 200m butterfly.
Le Roux sped by Jolandi Els and Rebecca Meder to win the 400m individual medley race in 5min 2.59sec, to Els’ 5:04.35 and Meder’s 5:04.96 and then finished in 4:26.14 and 2:20.66 to win the 400m freestyle and 200m butterfly respectively.
Charlise Oberholzer was second in the freestyle in 4:26.63, while Meder managed a third place finish in 4:29.15, with Monica Boje and Dune Coetzee winning the silver and bronze in the butterfly event in 2:24.66 and 2:26.78, respectively.
Chad le Clos cruised past his opposition in the 100m butterfly, winning in a time of 51.82, ahead of Clayton Jimmie in 55.15 and Eben Vorster in 55.85.
Vorster also scooped the gold in the 200m individual medley, clocking a fast 2:07.80 to Jack Carlisle’s 2:12.44 and Luan Grobbelaar’s 2:15.32, while Jimmie won the silver in the 50m freestyle in 23.23 ahead of Reynard Wessels in 23.64 and behind Douglas Erasmus in 23.02.
Myles Brown was victorious on two occasions, winning the 200m freestyle in 1:49.23 and 200m backstroke in 2:06.84. Calvyn Justus came second in 1:51.24 and Egypt’s Marwan Elcamash third in 1:52.45 in the freestyle event, while Ruan Ras took the silver in 2:07.63 and Reynier Pretorius the bronze in 2:14.50 in the backstroke race.
Justus was happy to go one better in the 50m backstroke, winning the race in 26.65 with Jacques van Wyk a close second in 27.00 and Neil Fair third in 27.78.
Nathania van Niekerk added two more gold medals to her tally, this time in the 100m freestyle and the 100m backstroke. She grabbed the freestyle title in 59.01 ahead of Lize-Mari de Beer in 59.14 and Samantha Labuschagne in 59.31, while her time in the backstroke victory was 1:02.78, followed by Jessica Ashley-Cooper in 1:02.98 and Carissa van Rooyen in 1:06.06.
Ashley-Cooper also won the silver in the 50m butterfly ahead of Marizel van Jaarsveld in 29.98 and behind Vanessa Mohr in 27.54.
Two gold medals were claimed by Tatjana Schoenmaker in the 50 and 200m breaststroke in 32.73 and 2:30.43, respectively.
The 50m silver went to Hanim Abrahams in 33.90 and the bronze to Jolandi Els in 35.00, while the 200m second place was won by Emily Visagie in 2:37.87 and the third place by Abrahams in 2:39.53.
In the 100m breaststroke, it was Ayrton Sweeney who won gold in 1:03.73, with Michael Houlie finishing second in 1:05.51 and Jacko Jackson third in 1:05.93, while the long 1500m freestyle title went to Josh Dannhauser in 15.33.66.
The remaining legs of the SA Swimming Grand Prix are:
Kings Park Swimming Pool, Durban – 5-7 February
Newton Park Swimming Pool, Port Elizabeth – 19-20 February
Stellenbosch University Swimming Pool, Cape Town – 26-28 February