Another busy night for SA in the pool

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London – After winning a bronze medal on Friday in the men’s 100m freestyle S11 event at the 2012 London Paralympic Games, Hendri Herbst was back in the pool on Saturday morning.

Herbst came second in his 50m freestyle S11 heat, setting an African record in 27.02 seconds.

He was half-a- second slower than American Bradley Snyder who was, in turn, one second behind the fastest qualifier Bozun Yang of China.

Snyder and Yang took the gold and silver medals in the 100m freestyle swim on Friday night and the three would meet again in the final of the 50m event on Saturday evening.

“I think it will take a while to sink in – I wasn’t even thinking about a medal, maybe top five but definitely not a medal,” Herbst said after winning his bronze medal.

“I just paced myself for the first 50m and then went full out for the last lap.

“Now I’ve got the 50 free, 100 back and 400m freestyle events still to come.”

Achmat Hassiem made his first appearance in the pool, as the third fastest qualifier in the men’s 100m butterfly S10 race.

His time of 58.46 seconds was an African record and only a fraction of a second behind his main competitors Dmitry Grigorev of Russia and David Levecq of Spain.

The third South African male in Saturday night’s swimming finals was Charles Bouwer.

He set another African record in the 50m freestyle S13 race, qualifying fourth in 24.36 seconds.

The women were less fortunate, with only Natalie du Toit progressing to the next stage.

Shireen Sapiro was disqualified from competing in the women’s 100m butterfly S10 after failing to show up on time to the first call room before the race.

Du Toit made it through to the 100m breaststroke SB8 final for the first time at Paralympic level. As breaststoke was one of her weaker strokes, she had made it clear she was competing for fun and to make the most of her last appearance on the world stage.

The second slowest qualifier in 1:30.24, Du Toit would be up against Britain’s Claire Cashmore, the fastest qualifier in 1:22.90.

Renette Bloem set an African record in the women’s 50m freestyle S11 but failed to make the grade, swimming her event in 38 seconds, while Marike Naude, in the 50m freestyle S13 also missed out with her time of 32.07 seconds.

Away from the pool, rower Sandra Khumalo went through to the B final, finishing fourth in the women’s single scull ASW1x repechage, completing her one kilometre race in 6:13.23.

Wendy Moller, riding First Lady Van Prins and Anthony Dawson, on Roffelaar, were positioned in the lower half of the points table after their individual dressage events and have one more round to complete. – Sapa


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