JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s swimmers rounded off their sparkling performances at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games with two more podium finishes, in the process bagging a dozen medals in total.
The swimming team was worth their weight in gold, finishing third on the table courtesy of half-a-dozen of gold medals.
Brad Tandy, who was one of only three finalists at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, also got in on the medal action by winning the 50m freestyle silver medal.
The splash and dash specialist won South Africa’s first 50m freestyle medal since swimming legend Roland Schoeman’s silver from Delhi 2010.
Tandy finished behind Commonwealth record-holder Ben Proud of England, who slammed into the wall with a time of 21.35 seconds while the South African stopped the clock 21.81.
Australia’s Cameron McEvoy rounded off the podium in third place with 21.91.
“That is the best result of my life I would say, not the best time, but performance wise it is among my top three,” Tandy said.
“Keeping cool in the prelims and the semi-finals, the main job is getting into the finals and from there it is just keeping the nerves under pressure.”
Tandy prides himself in having one of the best starts in the world and he had the advantage coming out of the glide.
He had to work hard from this point on end before Proud beat him to the wall for the victory.
The United States-based swimmer then anchored a South African 4x100m medley relay team consisting of Calvyn Justus, Cameron van der Burgh, and Chad le Clos to a bronze medal finish.
Justus lead off the team in the backstroke with his pedestrian swim leaving the rest of the team with some work to do.
Van der Burgh, who won the 50m breaststroke gold medal the day before, closed the gap somewhat on the flying English and Australian teams.
Sharing my best moment with my brothers 💙🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/UcvP1UOgLN
Swimming like a man possessed, Le Clos turned lightning fast butterfly leg with the carrot of a fifth medal at the Games dangling in front of him.
Le Clos fought South Africa into the third-place position and it was up sprint specialist Tandy to last over two full lengths. Tandy did well to hold on with Duncan Scott of Scotland fast approaching.
London 2012 Olympic champion Le Clos bowed out of the Games as the most decorated swimmer, adding five medals to his 12 from Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014.
The swimming sensation made history by becoming the first man to win the butterfly treble, bagging the gold over the 50m, 100m, and 200m distances.
South African swimming queen Tatjana Schoenmaker delighted with her 100-200m breaststroke double gold, setting national records in both events while also lowering the national mark in the 50m event.
“It still hasn’t sunk in, the only thing that did sink in is that I swum such good times, I was very emotional after the 200m but so much with the 100m,” Schoenmaker said.
a Second gold for the new kid on the block. Tatjana Schoenmaker on Monday night added to her 100m breaststroke gold when she won the 200m breaststroke at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Her time of 2.22.022 broke the record of Olympic Gold medalist Penny Heyns. pic.twitter.com/S4vDbeKcqM
“It is still strange to see double gold, it still has to sink in with all the records. Everything I compete in now is building blocks towards Tokyo 2020.”