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Swimmers shine again
- Updated: September 7, 2011
By Mark Etheridge
Team South Africa’s medal tally is just short of the half-century mark on day five of the All Africa Games here in the Mozambican capital.
Once again it was swimming who came to the party with another 11 medals. This means that on consecutive days they have had hauls of 11, 12 and 11.
On Wednesday the count was five gold (equalling their best day’s haul thus far), three silver and three bronze.
The total medal count now stands at 47.
First gold of the evening went to Roxanne Tammage in the women’s 400m free in 4:19.73.┬á First men’s gold was snatched by Darren Murray in the 200m backstroke final. The other three golds went to Suzaan van Biljon in the 50m breaststroke final (her second gold of the Games) and the two relay events, the men’s 4x200m freestyle, in 7:33.63 and the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay (3:54.93).
Silvers went to the in-form Karin Prinsloo in the 100m backstroke in 1:01.46, Charl Crous (2:01.8 in the 200m back) and Neil Watson (50m butterfly, 24.31) and the three bronzes belonged to Rene Warnes (400m free, 4:21.58), Gideon Louw (49.80 in the 100m free) and Garth Tune (24.70 in the 50m fly).
“I’m very impressed with the team’s showing thus far,” said aquatics manager Thanesh Marimuthu. “Their times have definitely improved and we’re looking good. As [coach] Dean Price said last night, we’ve started better than at previous Games now the trick is to build on that.”
Around six of the swimmers will return home on Thursday as will be the case with most sports once they have completed their disciplines. The track and field athletes are expected to arrive on Thursday.
The canoeing competition got underway 200 kilometres north of here and five medals were added to the team’s tally, four of them gold and one silver.
Nick Stubbs was the sole silver, in the K1 1000m final but Calvin Mokoto (C1 1000m final), 2012 Olympics qualifier Bridgitte Hartley (K1 500m), Gavin White and Pieter Basson (K2 1000m) and Hartley and Tiffany Kruger (K2 500m) all took gold. More medals will surely come the way of the canoe team on Thursday.
The other medal of the day came in the badminton team event where we went down 3-2 to Nigeria in the final, after leading 2-0, and won silver.
Our men’s soccer team notched their second win of the tournament with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Ghana after accounting for hosts Mozambique 3-1 on Sunday. Witbank Spurs player, Fisimpilo Ntombela, who netted in the team’s warm-up game last Friday, scored the 79th minute winner. “This was much tougher than our first game against Mozambique,” said manager Levy Ramajoe. “The Ghanaians were very, very physical so it was a good win.”
Meanwhile the women’s netball team continued on their merry way. Less than 24 hours after beating main rivals Botswana 36-34 they totally outclassed Ghana 79-22 and are looking good for a medal, hopefully gold.
And in the boxing competition which went on late in to the night┬á four of our fighters reached the quarter-finals.
In the first SA bout of the evening it was Walter Dlamini in the 81kg division who came up against Nigerian opponent Lawal Lukman.
Scores were level at 0-0 after the first round but as the fight progressed the Nigerian imposed himself and won the second round 6-2 and the third 5-4 to move into the quarter-finals.
A well-known name spotted around the boxing venue was Britain’s Chris Eubank, former world middleweight and super-middlweight champion, who now coaches the Angolan team.
First up in competition on Thursday will be our road cyclists, men and women, in the time trial competition in the city.