Herbst gets gold again | SASCOC - SASCOC

Herbst gets gold again

By Mark Etheridge

South Africa added another four medals to their haul at the Brazilian Open Swimming Championships in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday night.

After two days of competition their tally is one short of double figures after the para-swimmers won five on day one.

Hendrik Herbst provided for the only gold of the day in the 100-metre freestyle, one of only  two events contested on the day, the other being the 150m medley.

Swimming in the S11 category, Herbst stroked his way to a 1min 01.90sec victory. He had a comfortable victory margin over Brazil’s Matheus Sousa (1:05.24). In fact Herbst was the only non-Brazilian swimmer in the line-up. It was Herbst’s second gold of the competition, having won the 100m backstroke on Wednesday.

The only other men’s medal-winner on the night was Cape Town’s Achmat Hassiem. He bagged bronze in the S10 division, clocking 56.67. In the same race, Kevin Paul, a gold medal winner the previous day, ended eighth in a time of 1:01.52.

Our other two men in action were both in the S9 category with James Bezuidenhout seventh in 1:07.56 and Charl Parkin 10th in 1:10.10. On the face of it Bezuidenhout’s seventh may not seem overly impressive but one must remember that is only 14 years old and his speciality stroke is not freestyle but backstroke. The S9 final saw a huge age divide with Colombia’s Edwar Palacios a whole 18 years older than Bezuidenthout at 32 years of age.

Our girls also came to the party with two medals, both of them silver. Adri Visser clocked 1:51.02 in the S5 category and Shireen Sapiro, denied a medal on Wednesday as there was only one other swimmer in her race, took silver in the S10 dash, with a time of 1:08.12.

After two days of competition, Team South Africa find themselves slotted in at fourth spot on the medals table with their nine medals. A total of 26 teams are in action. The competition wraps up on Saturday.

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