By Mark Etheridge
South Africa’s Mark Roach ended his events at the World Deaf Swimming Championships in San Antonio, Texas on Friday with a personal best time.
He was in action in the 50-metre freestyle and although he ended 12th quickest he had that 25.53-second personal best to reflect on.
There was disappointment in his other race, the 200m Individual Medley as he was disqualified.
Explained veteran Paralympian and team manager Tadhg Slattery: ‘Mark looked very relaxed for the 200m IM. But the weather was very hot and the sun so bright. He looked good in the water but what a pity… he was disqualified because his touch was six inches between left and right hands on the wall.
‘But he’s a true sportsman and accepted the disqualified. He is now finished all his four races and can chill a bit now
‘In his 50m he swam so well. His dive was a bit slow but his stroke looked good although he needed a bit more speed. Brazil, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and USA were too strong for Mark. But we must remember that this guy is only 18 years old and most of the other swimmers age were 23 to 29 years old.
South Africans in action for Saturday’s final day of competition are star of the meeting Peggy de Villiers and the other female swimmer Cornell Loubser.
Both take on the 100m butterfly heats while De Villiers also goes off in the 50m backstroke.
Going into the final day SA had six medals (two each of gold, silver and bronze), two deaf world records and 12 personal best times.