Team South Africa ended the week-long IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada with seven medals on Sunday ÔÇô an average of a┬á medal a day, writes Mark Etheridge.
It was left to stalwart Charl Bouwer to wrap up the campaign with the teams’ final medal. He won bronze in the S13 100-metre freestyle to end the championships with four medals ÔÇô one silver and three bronze.
His time in the 100m free was 52.41 seconds and once again it was Ihar Boki the Bellarussian athlete who bullied all before him to take gold in a world record 51.05.
Runner-up was Ukraine swimmer Iaroslav Denysenko in 51.96 while Bouwer’s time was another African record.
“Charl looked very confident and calm,” said team coach Tadhg Slattery. “His mind was really focused. He dived a bit slowly but his underwater kick was very good. He led through 50m then his turn was also bit slow and he battled to keep his stroke all the way through last 50m. So the Belarus and Ukraine swimmer were too strong for Charl. He was relieved to received his bronze medal and now ends with a silver and three bronze medals in his bag.”
Also in action on Sunday was Kevin Paul in the 50m freestyle (SB9).
He ended up seventh with a time of 25.68 seconds as Brazil’s Andre Brasil won in 23.37 seconds. “Kevin had a brilliant dive and his underwater kick was also good but then he had a bit of a poor breakaway and he was up against the very best swimmers in the world,” said Slattery.
There were African records for Adri Visser (200m freestyle), Beth Nothling (50m backstroke) and Bouwer (100m backstroke and 100m freestyle).
The team ended in 22nd place on the medals table something they’ll no doubt be looking to improve at the next IPC Championships in Glasgow, Scotland in 2015.
“Big thank-you’s to Swimming South Africa and SASCOC for doing a great job for Team South Africa,” summed up Slattery.