By Mark Etheridge
South Africa’s participation in the swimming section of the Deaflympic Games in Samsun, Turkey, came to an end on Wednesday night.
The small team failed to build on the two silver medals won by Cornell Loubser, as she ended fourth in the 50m butterfly final.
Loubser, who turns 23 on Thursday, swam a personal best 29.50sec, just missing out on bronze as Russia’s Ekaterina Savchenko won in 29.43.
‘This has been my second Deaflympics and I’m so excited to go back home with two silver medals and a close fourth place,’ said Loubser. ‘It’s been such an honour representing my country.’
Mark Roach did well to place fifth in the 200m individual medley final in a time of 2:14.61, while Pierre Dellieu ended seventh in the 50m freestyle final with a time of 24.54, a personal best.
Said Roach: ‘Getting ranked third for the 200m IM was the best experience of my swimming career.’
‘After placing fifth in the final, it still stands as my greatest swimming achievement. I’m honoured to have represented my country and hope to do so again in the future.
‘Only this time it will be only for gold.’
Loubser heads home tonight to catch up on her university studies in Potchefstroom, and Roach heads back on Friday.
South Africa still have representation in the athletics competition, as Simo Jiyane ran 23.30sec to end second in his Thursday semi-final and qualify for Thursday’s final.
Picture of SA’s three swimmers courtesy of chef de mission Tadgh Slattery