South Africa, Sans Big Four, Still Rolls During First Night of All Africa Games; Natalie Du Toit Shines Despite Disability

ALGIERS, Algeria, July 12. EVEN without its top quartet of Lyndon Ferns, Ryk Neethling, Roland Schoeman and Darian Townsend staying in the States for various reasons, South Africa still piled the hardware high during the first night of swimming at the All Africa Games.

Overall, South Africa captured four out of the six gold medals available as well as set a trio of meet records.

Troyden Prinsloo claimed the 400 freestyle in 3:55.29, while Cameron Vander Burgh touched first in the 100 breast in 1:02.05 as the South African duo garnered both of the individual meet standards.

Meanwhile, the contingent of Melissa Corfe, Natalie Du Toit, Kathryn Meaklim and Jessica Pengelly set the 800 freestyle relay record with an 8:28.46.

Du Toit, who usually competes in disability events due to losing part of her left leg in 2001, demonstrated her true swimming ability as part of the meet-record setting foursome for South Africa.

"It was a chance for me to get out there and see what I can do," Du Toit told The Associated Press. "We went pretty well and I'm pretty happy with this. My dream is to go to the Olympics so I've been working for that."

Jason Dunford of Kenya pocketed the other men's title with a time of 53.40 in the 100 fly, while Corfe snagged South Africa's fourth gold medal with a time of 57.44 in the 100 free.

Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe rounded out the titlists with a 4:39.91 in the 400 IM.

The competition continues until July 18.

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