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Sapiro, Gray lead way
- Updated: March 29, 2011
Paralympian swimmers Shireen Sapiro and Emily Gray lead the way in the water at the Nedbank National Championships for Physically Disabled, presented by the South African Sports Association for Physically Disabled (SASAPD) in the Hillcrest Pool in Pretoria.
Although neither swimmer specialise in the 50 metre freestyle, they used the race as a warm-up to their preferred events later in the competition and reaped the rewards.
ÔÇ£I finished just off my personal best, so I’m taking as a good omen ahead of my main events,ÔÇØ said Sapiro.
The 20-year-old S10 class swimmer, who became the youngest gold medallist in swimming at 16 years old when she won the 100m backstroke at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, completed the distance in 31.73 seconds.
Sapiro said she aims to medal in all her events, including the 50m butterfly, 200m back stroke and the 100m free style.
ÔÇ£This week every race is very important because we are just two weeks away from the National Swimming Championships,ÔÇØ she said. ÔÇ£You can bet that we’re all going to swim all out.ÔÇØ
Gray, a leg amputee competing in the T9 class, completed the distance in 33.46 seconds. She will be competing in the 100m and 400m free style, as well as the 100m back stroke.
And rising star Tezna Abrahams from the North West Province, who won eight gold medals in last year’s championship, opened her tally in the 15 to 16 age category by winning the 50m free style in the T10 class with a time of 36.47 seconds.
Among the records set at Hillcrest, Johann van Heerden completed the 200m breaststroke in the S9 class in 3:13 In the Boys 15-16 Division.