South Africa Opens CANA Championships With Seven Medals

Photo Courtesy: Anesh Debiky/Swimming South Africa

The South African swimming team opened the 13th CANA Swimming and Open Water Championships in a spectacular fashion, winning 7 medals (3 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze).

Erin Gallagher blew away the opposition in the 100m freestyle and 50m backstroke.

She secured Mzansi’s first gold medal in the 100m freestyle with a time of 54.79, over 2secs ahead of Egypt’s Farida Osman in 56.80 and Algeria’s Medjahed Nesrine in 58.09 and later in the finals went on to break Chanelle van Wyk’s Championship Record in the 50m backstroke.

Van Wyk’s time stood at 29.31, with Gallagher winning the gold in a new Championship record time of 29.04 ahead of Egypt’s Samiha Mohsen in 29.51 and Algeria’s Melih Amel in 29.67.

Gallagher was also a part of the 4x200m freestyle relay team alongside Jessica Whelan, Janie Coetzee and Tori Oliver, which scooped the gold in 8:29.89 ahead of Tunisia in 9:05.40.

In the 400m individual medley, Samantha Randle and Whelan were the silver and bronze duo, clocking 4:59.75 and 5:00.66, respectively, while the gold went to Algeria’s Nefsi Rania Hamida in 4:56.96.

Alaric Basson shared the silver medal with Egypt’s Youssef Elkamash when they both touched the wall in 1:01.54 in the 100m breaststroke, while the first place was claimed by Tunisia’s Elloumi Wassim in 1:01.26.

South Africa’s third silver medal came from Jacques van Wyk in the 50m backstroke when he clocked 25.90 behind Egypt’s Mohamed Samy in 25.49 and ahead of Algeria’s Ardjoune Abdellah in 26.54.

Medal rankings (after day 1):

Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
South Africa 3 3 1 7
Egypt 2 4 0 6
Tunisia 1 1 1 3
Algeria 1 0 3 4

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Swimming South Africa. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact

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Author: James Sica

James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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