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WATCH: Lara van Niekerk wins Commonwealth gold with third Games record

South Africa's Lara van Niekerk on the way to winning Women's 50m Breaststroke at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Picture: Davies Davies/PA Wire/BackpagePix

South Africa's Lara van Niekerk on the way to winning Women's 50m Breaststroke at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Picture: Davies Davies/PA Wire/BackpagePix

Published Jul 30, 2022

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Cape Town - Lara van Niekerk is the new golden girl of Team South Africa!

The 19-year-old speedster charged up on the rest of the field to clinch the gold medal in a new Commonwealth Games record of 29.73 seconds at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Birmingham on Saturday night.

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The victory signalled South Africa's first gong at the Games.

British swimmer Imogen Clark grabbed the silver medal in 30.02, while Chelsea Hodges of Australia secured the bronze in 30.05.

South Africa's two other finalists, Tatjana Schoenmaker and Kaylene Corbett, finished fourth (30.41) and sixth respectively (31.10).

Van Niekerk's mark was the third time she broke the Commonwealth Games record in Birmingham, having clocked 29.82 in the heats and 29.80 in the semi-finals.

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In the final, Clark was in the lead for most of the race, but Van Niekerk turned on the heat in the last 15 metres to touch the wall first.

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Schoenmaker, who earned a 200m gold and 100m silver at the Tokyo Olympics, will hope to push for podium places in those two events again in Birmingham.

@ashfakmohamed

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