Megan Singh raced to a double gold on the second day of the SA Games tournament while young Alani Ferreira made her mark among the swimmers with disabilities, adding another three golds to take her tally to five over the first two days at the SA Games in Polokwane.
Singh (KZN) started her day with an excellent swim in the women’s 200-metre individual medley where she was locked in battle with Justine Jagga (WP), winning by just 0.58sec to clock 2min 39.38sec. Samantha Young (Gauteng) was third in 2:44.98.
The 16-year-old proved later that she has the finish that counts to win races. This time Singh edged out Jess-Keir Neely (Gauteng) by 0.72sec to take her second title in the women’s 100m butterfly, clocking 1:11.02. Tina Bahlmann (EP) was also not far off the pace for the bronze in 1:13.71.
Three more swimmers earned their second victories as they added to their opening day gold performances. Ammaarah Abrahams (WP) ÔÇô just 12 years old ÔÇô edged out KZN’s Carla Du Plessis by 0.42sec to win the women’s 50m breaststroke in an exciting 36.18sec. Abrahams had a more comfortable victory during the opening day in the 100m breaststroke, winning in 1:22.76 to beat Antoinette Rudolph (Gauteng) by 1.16sec.
Alexio dos Santos (North West) opened his second day with another victory in the men’s 200m individual medley ÔÇô but not without a strong challenge from Gauteng’s Chris Delport. Dos Santos won by 0.52sec in 2:25.79 while KZN’s Yasien Meth took the bronze in 2:29.05.
Dos Santos was involved in an even closer finish to win the men’s 100m breaststroke on day one. The 14-year-old clocked 1:16.51 to edge out Codey Malan (Gauteng) by just 0.07sec in 1:16.58 ÔÇôas well as Pieter-Daniel van Rooyen (WP) who followed only 0.15sec later in 1:16.73 for an exciting race.
William Brann (EP) was a popular gold medallist in the glamour event, the men’s 100m freestyle. ┬áThe 16-year-old added to his 50m backstroke title the day before by clocking a fast 58.47sec ÔÇô beating Wouter Zonnenstein (WP) who clocked 59.34sec as he survived a challenge from Hannes Hamer (MP) by a mere 0.03sec.
But the star of the Games so far has certainly been young Alani Ferreira (KZN). The 13-year-old Pietermaritzburg swimmer took three gold medals among the multi-class disability categories. Ferreira began her assault in the women’s 100m freestyle, clocking an encouraging 1:20.18 before tackling the 50m breaststroke where she stopped the watches in 43.41sec. Her third title on the second day came from the 100m butterfly where she won in 1:38.46.
Ferreira had opened her Games with two victories on the first day. She took the 100m breaststroke in 1:34.72 and the 50m backstroke in 42.72sec.
With just one day to go, the provinces are closely contested with KwaZulu-Natal edging ahead on the combined scores with 282 points ahead of the Western Cape on 256 points and Gauteng on 253 points. While Gauteng are lying second in both the men and women’s sections, KZN are dominating the women through the efforts of Ferreira while the Western Cape are dominating the men’s section through the efforts of Ethan Paulse.
Paulse won the multi-disability 100m freestyle in 1:06.44 and the 100m butterfly in 1:15.30 on the second day, adding to his 50m backstroke title on the opening day in 35.69sec.