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Two more medals for SA at World Deaf Swimming Championships

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By Mark Etheridge

Two more medals came South Africa’s way at the World Deaf Swimming Championship in San Antonio, Texas on Wednesday.
And once again it was Peggy de Villiers who led from the front as she snapped up her third medal of the championships.
Going into a sweltering third day of the gala, she’d already won a gold and bronze medal and on this occasion she added another gold, in the 50m freestyle event.
She clocked a championship record and personal best 26.85sec to pip Bellarussia’s Aksana Petrushenka by just 0.03sec.
The other medal came from Cornell Loubser, who added a silver to the bronze she won on day one. She was swimming he 200m butterfly where she set a personal best 2:27.02 behind Russia’s Ekaterina Savchenko (2:23.74.)
The third swimmer in the team, Mark Roach, ended eighth in the men’s 50m backstroke but took away the satisfaction of a personal best 29.22 as Japan’s Yoshikazu Kanaji won in 27.06.
The SA team are on fire in the Texas heat with two deaf world records, 12 personal best times and having made six finals after just three days of the five-day competition.
Said team manager Tadgh Slattery: ‘Peggy swam so brilliantly. It was so close between the Russian and Belarus swimmers. She was so mad to finish off the wall and the finishing board showed the wrong names but luckily, the lane of numbers showed correct on the board.
‘Cornell never expected to go under 2:30 and shocked even herself with her best time. She went out too fast in the first 50m but realised and reduced speed for the second 50m. She then upped the pace again in the third 50m and kept going till the end and now has a silver and bronze medal so far.’
And commenting on Roach’s race, Slattery said: ‘Mark swam faster than his morning heats, beat his personal best time and looks strong in the water. His backstroke rhythm looked good from start to finish and he’s happy with his performance.
‘The weather here today was extremely hot at 39 degrees Celsius, everyone was sweating badly and drinking plenty of fluids.’
Thursday sees all three of the South Africans in action again with the two women tackling the 100m freestyle and Roach swimming the 50m butterfly.


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