Members of Team South Africa pictured soon after arriving for the Africa Games in Rabat. Photo: @TeamSA19 on twitter

RABAT The SA swimming team opened the aquatics programme of the 12th African Games in a spectacular fashion, claiming 11 medals (six gold, three silver and two bronze) in Rabat, Morocco, on Wednesday.

Michael Houlie kicked off the evening session with a gold medal-winning performance in the 50m breaststroke, posting 27.41 ahead of Egypt’s Youssef Elkamash in 27.52 and Tunisia’s Wassim Elloumi in 28.27.

Martin Binedell won himself a gold medal in the 200m backstroke with a time of 2:01.38 followed by Algeria’s Abdellah Ardjoune in 2:02.73 and Egypt’s Yassin Elshamaa in 2:05.77.

Binedell bagged his second gold as part of the 4x100m freestyle relay team with Douglas Erasmus, Brad Tandy and Ryan Coetzee when they finished in 3:21.63.

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There was no stopping Erin Gallagher as she sped to the finish line of the 100m freestyle in 55.13, while team-mate Emma Chelius scooped the bronze in 55.86. The silver went to Egypt’s Farida Osman in 55.62.

Gallagher and Chelius were also a part of the gold medal-winning 4x100m freestyle relay team, alongside Jessica Whelan and Kerryn Herbst, where the ladies’ topped the podium in 3:48.88.

Kaylene Corbett and Christin Mundell were the gold and silver duo in the 50m breaststroke, touching the wall in 32.20 and 32.70, respectively, with the bronze medal going to Zambia’s Tilka Palik in 32.92.

In the 1500m freestyle, Samantha Randle and Carla Antonopoulos grabbed the silver and bronze in 17:11.07 and 17:22.15, while the top spot was claimed by Egypt’s Hania Moro in 17:06.71.

Meanwhile, at the World Junior Swimming Championships in Budapest, Lara van Niekerk just missed out on a medal in the final of the 50m breaststroke when she finished fourth in 31.12, while Dune Coetzee was eighth in the 200m butterfly final in 2:13.06.

Aimee Canny booked herself a place in the final of the 100m freestyle after concluding Wednesday’s semifinals in fourth place, clocking 54.87, while Hannah Robertson ended the heats of the event in 55th place in 58.58 and later finished the 800m freestyle in 21st position in 9:08.31 ahead of Tori Oliver in 9:33.11.

In the heats of the 200m individual medley, Matthew Sates and Luca Holtzhausen finished 20th and 27th in 2:05.01 and 2:06.68, respectively, while Sates also participated in the 100m butterfly where he concluded 29th in 55.23 to Ethan du Preez’s 28th place time of 55.15.

Holtzhausen also swam the 200m freestyle and finished 37th in 1:54.51 behind Matthew Bosch, who came 24th in 1:52.17, while Du Preez, Pieter Coetze, Rebecca Meder and Canny touched the wall in 15th place in the 4x100m mixed medley relay, clocking 4:04.79. 

African News Agency (ANA)