Bouwer's bronze makes it five medals for Team SA | SASCOC - SASCOC

Bouwer’s bronze makes it five medals for Team SA

By Mark Etheridge

Team South Africa kept up with their average tally of a medal per day at the IPC Swimming World Championships in Montreal, Canada on Friday.

And it was three-time Paralympian Charl Bouwer who did the job as he won bronze in the S13 400-metre freestyle event.

That brought SA’s tally to five medals after two days ÔÇô they now have one gold, two silver and two bronze in their collection.

Bouwer’s third place came in a time of 4min 13.71sec as he had to once again watch as Belarus blitz Ihar Boki, the man who denied Bouwer a few medals at last year’s Paralympics in London, took gold.

Boki blazed to another world record in 3:55.56 with Ukraine’s Iaroslav Denysenko second, also under 4min in 3:56.59.

Also in finals action was Hendrik van der Merwe in the SB5 100m breaststroke final where he ended seventh in 1:45.02.

Bouwer told Road to Rio: “It was an unexpected medal for me since I came sixth in London in this event last year, so I’m still really happy with my performance today.”

“Charl just looked exhausted,” said Team SA coach Tadhg Slattery. “He did his best to keep with the first two medallists but they were just too fast for him, despite him keeping his strokes going from beginning to end. But he’s still got a gold and bronze medal already.”

Bouwer’s next medal bid will be in the S13 100m backstroke race.

Said Van der Merwe afterwards: “I’m happy, especially as this was my first major international. I wanted to go a bit faster in the second 50 but now I know what to expect and can look forward to 2016.”

Coach Slattery’s take on his performance? “Hendrik look comfortable in the water ÔÇô┬á his first 50m looked good but the last 50m he struggled but he still kept going to finish off the wall. He was tired in the last 10m. On this occasion the others were too strong for Hendrik. He will preparing for the future now.”

In morning heats, involving South Africans Craig Groenewald and Challis Wright finished 12th (1:15.39) and 13th (1:15.83) respectively in their SB14 100m breaststroke.

With Saturday being the penultimate day of the competition, London bronze medallist Shireen Sapiro will race the S10 100m backstroke.