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Prinsloo leads medal rush

Team South Africa have already won a bagful of medals at the 10th senior African Swimming Championships in Casablanca, Morocco on Monday.

There were 11 medals in all as well as four championship records for South Africa at the Casablanca event which features more than 252 participants from 19 countries.

For Karin Prinsloo, it all began in the morning heats when she broke Lauren Roets’ record in the 100-metre freestyle with a time of 56.48 seconds. That record had stood for six years. Prinsloo then bettered that record when she claimed gold in the evening finals clocking 56.40. Leone Vorster’s 57.50 won her the silver medal.

In the 100m breaststroke, William Diering, who posted the fastest time in the morning heats, finished second (1:03.13) in a hard fought race with Algeria’s Nabil Kebbab. Nabil is coached by former South African coach Karoly Torros who is currently the head coach of Algeria.

Golden girl Kathryn Meaklim finished the 400m individual medley with a new Championship record time of 4:45.76, improving on her previous morning’s heart record of 4:53.72. Bianca Meyer claimed bronze in 4:52.69.

It was gold and silver for South Africa in the women’s 50m backstroke. Chanelle van Wyk set a new Championship Record clocking 29.31 while Jessica Ashley-Cooper claimed silver in 29.90.

In the men’s 50m backstroke, youngster Darren Murray swam his way to the top of the podium in a time of 26.56, with Garth Tune coming in a close second in 27.03.

Another silver medal came from Jay-Cee Thomson in the 200m freestyle, where he swam 1:51.51.

The women’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay promised to be an exciting final, following Tunisia and Algeria’s quick times earlier in the day. The race lived up to the expectations as the crowd rose to their feet in a nail-biting final sprint which saw Team South Africa break the 2006 Championship record in 8:27.61, with Tunisia and Algeria completing the remaining medal placings.