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SA grab 12 medals
- Updated: December 12, 2010
By Mark Etheridge
Team South Africa swimming captain Wesley Morris powered his way to the country’s first gold medal in the defence of their Zone VI Games title in Swaziland on Sunday.
Morris won the 100-metre freestyle final in 51.21 seconds and there was double delight for the South Africans as teammate Chris van de Sande picked up silver in 52.47.
Those were the first of 12 medals (all in swimming) on the first day of competition in the Under-20 tournament which ends on Saturday. Six of the medals were gold, five silver and one bronze.
Morris, a 19-year-old electrical engineering student at Nelson Mandela Metropole University in Port Elizabeth, said after his victory: “I was kind of expecting to win going on my times I had before coming here but it’s always good to win. It’s a nice pool, the starting blocks weren’t great but overall it was great. I’m in seven races here so it’s good to start with a win.”
Other gold medallists were Nina Nicholas (200m freestyle, 2:06.29), Kelly Gunnell (100m breaststroke, 1:10.25), Van der Sande (100m backstroke, 57.35), Marne Erasmus (100m butterfly, 1:02.81) and the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay — Morris, Frank Greeff, Vd Sande and Reynard Wessels, 3:28.51).
The four other silver medals went to Mikhail Safiedien (50m breaststroke, 30.88), Marguerite van Zyl (100m breaststroke, 1:12.57), Morris (100m backstroke, 58.40) and Kristy Muller (100m butterfly, 1:05.47).
The solitary bronze medallist was Kern Fredericks (50m breaststroke, 31.27).
In other action featuring South Africa on Sunday, both our men’s and women’s soccer sides won. The men beat Botswana 3-0 while the women drew 1-1 with Namibia, Ntombizodwa Kate Nhlopo netting for South Africa.
In basketball our women went down 41-68 to Angola.
And on the netball courts, the ball made slippery by consistent drizzle, our women won one and lost one. They beat Namibia 42-21 with Melissa Myburgh top-scoring with 35 goals and in their second game of the day went down 32-40 to regional powerhouses Malawi.
Finally in tennis, delayed because of persistent drizzle, our team of Stephen Fortman, Michal Lyzwa, Welma Luus and Eden D’Oliveira whitewashed Mozambique in their first outing. They now go into the quarter-finals and manager Mpho Makgoba is confident of medals coming SA’s way.
On Monday South Africa will be looking to continue their medal-winning surge after topping the medals table in the last Zone VI games held in Potchefstroom in 2008.