Brisbane - A World All-Star swimming team, with five South Africans in the ranks, could not stop the Australian victory surge here on Monday night.
The Australian men completed their quest for the Goodwill Games team gold medal, equalling their women counterparts by easily defeating the World All-Star team, which featured South Africans Terence Parkin, Brett Peterson, Roland Schoeman, Nick Folker and Theo Verster.
Although none of the South Africans distinguished themselves in the gold medal final dual meeting, Parkin took the individual gold medal in the 200 metre breaststroke with his victory over the Aussies in the final preliminary meeting on Sunday, for which he earned a bonus of nearly R25 000.
Peterson also took honours with a silver medal for an earlier 50m breaststroke performance. Folker and Schoeman were members of the silver medal-winning 4 x 100m freestyle relay squad.
Despite falling on consecutive days to the powerhouse hosts, the World team exceeded expectations by finishing second, having pushed the disappointing United States team out of gold medal contention by defeating the Americans on Friday night in a gala highlighted by victories from Parkin, Peterson and Schoeman over their more fancied opposition. The Americans won the bronze medal on Monday, but it was small consolation for their overall lacklustre performance.
On the women's side, the United States were more competitive, advancing to the gold medal gala before again falling to the rampant Aussies earlier on Monday.
In the bronze medal gala, the women's World All-Star team were unable to overcome the European All-Stars, led by Dutch star Inge De Bruijn, but the South African swimmers in the World squad nonetheless gained valuable experience during the competition. Of the SA members, Charlene Wittstock set a national record in the 50m backstroke in one of her two victories over the Aussies, earning R16 000.
The benefits of competing against the world's best will help the South African contingent during the short-course World Cup events later this year, January's short-course gala in Durban, and the short-course world championships in March, where Capetonian Sarah Poewe, absent from Brisbane because of matric studies, will defend her two titles. - Special correspondent