South Africa Remains in Medal Lead After Day Three of African Swimming Championships

DAKAR, Senegal, September 14. SOUTH Africa pushed its second-day two-medal lead up to four medals during the third day of competition at the African Swimming Championships held in Dakar, Senegal from Sept. 11-17. The South Africans ended the day with 16 medals (10G, 2S, 4B), while Tunisia dropped farther behind with 12 (3G, 7S, 2B). Algeria remained in third with 11 (3G, 3S, 5B).

Men’s 50 Breaststroke
South Africa’s Thabang Moeketsane picked up his second breaststroke title of the meet with a win in the 50 after taking the 100 on the first day. This time, the South African stopped the clock in 28.95. Senegal’s Malick Fall placed second with a 29.47, while Algerian Mehdi Hamama grabbed third in 30.24.

Men’s 100 Freestyle
Algerian Nabil Kebbab snared his third gold medal of the meet with a win in the 100 free after hitting the wall in 50.57. He had to come from behind at the halfway mark as he trailing second-place Jason Dunford of Kenya (24.79 to 24.63) after the first 50 meters.

Dunford wound up taking silver in 51.07, while South African Shaun Harris garnered bronze in 51.29.

Women’s 100 Backstroke
In the women’s first action of finals, South Africa’s Lehesta Kemp won the 100 back in 1:04.93. She finished ahead of second-place Dina Hegazy (1:05.51) of Egypt and third-place Karima Lahmar (1:07.24) of Algeria.

Kemp took her race out comparatively fast with a 32.07 at the 50-meter mark .21 seconds ahead of Hegazy’s 32.38 50-meter split.

Men’s 200 Backstroke
Kenyan David Dunford grabbed gold in the men’s 200 back with a 2:06.48 in one of the closest races of the meet. He held off South African Stuart Rogers (2:06.74) by .26 seconds. Meanwhile, Algerian Naoufel Benabid rounded out the podium with a 2:06.93 to touch a scant .19 seconds behind Rogers.

After pushing out to a two-second lead at the 150-meter mark with a 1:33.10 effort against Rogers’ 1:35.39 and Benabid’s 1:35.07, Dunford witnessed his lead shrink in the final 50 meters but managed to gut out the victory.

Men’s 800 Freestyle
In the final men’s event in a testosterone-filled day of four men’s events, Egypt’s Mohamed Magdy claimed the 800 freestyle title with an 8:21.12. Tunisia swept the next two spots with Mohamed Mettigi taking silver in 8:22.74 and Ahmed Mathlouthi earned bronze in 8:24-flat.

Magdy and Mettigi battled back and forth as they traded the lead at the 300-meter and 700-meter marks before Magdy came from behind in the final 50 with a 58.39 sprint against Mettigi’s 1:00.32 final 50.

Women’s 400 Freestyle Relay
South Africa’s contingent of Elzanne Werth, Tamaryn Laubscher, Lehesta Kemp and Leone Vorster won its second relay title of the meet with a 3:55.85 for the gold medal. Tunisia’s team of Sarra Chahed, Nadia Chahed, Mariem Meddeb and Maroua Mathlouthi picked up silver in 3:58.17, while Algeria’s squad of Fella Bennaceur, Souad Nafisa Cherouati, Sarah Hadjabderahmane and Kenza Matoub pocketed bronze in 4:03.40.

South Africa won gold with the following splits:
Werth: 59.68, Laubscher: 59.28, Kemp: 59.56 and Vorster: 57.33.