South Africa Takes Medal Lead in Second Day of African Swimming Championships

DAKAR, Senegal, September 13. SOUTH Africa took the medal lead during the second day of competition at the African Swimming Championships held in Dakar, Senegal from Sept. 11-17. The South Africans own 11 medals (7G, 1S, 3B), while Tunisia dropped to second with nine medals (3G, 5S, 1B). Algeria stood in third with six medals (2G, 3S, 1B).

Women’s 50 Butterfly
Elzanne Werth spearheaded a South African top-two sweep in the women’s 50 fly with a time of 28.57 to touch out compatriot Leone Vorster. Vorster wound up with silver in 28.65. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s Samantha Richter rounded out the podium with a 29.13.

Men’s 200 Freestyle
Algeria’s Nabil Kebbab rolled through the field with a 1:52.05 to claim the men’s 200 free title at the meet. He placed ahead of Kenyan Jason Dunford, who won the 100 fly on the first day of competition before touching in 1:53.69 for silver in the 200 free. South African John Ellis placed third for bronze with a 1:54.65.

Kebbab trailed Dunford at the halfway mark, 55.07 to 54.93, but came home in 56.98 to secure the title.

Women’s 200 Freestyle
Vorster continued her dominance in the freestyle with her second freestyle gold of the meet. After winning the 100 free on the first day with the only sub 58-second time (57.67), Vorster demolished the field with a 2:01.92 in the 200 free. Tunisian Maroua Mathlouthi placed second with a 2:06.81, while Seychelles’ Shrone Austin took bronze with a 2:07.60.

At the halfway mark, Vorster already owned a nearly three-second lead over her nearest competitor with a 59.92 split, before posting a 1:02-flat back half for the win.

Men’s 400 IM
South African Stuart Rogers pocketed his first medal of the meet with a convincing win in the 400 IM. He recorded a 4:31.48 to place ahead of Tunisia’s Taki M’Rabet’s second-place time of 4:33.54. Meanwhile, Egyptian Mohamed Gad Allah snared third with a 4:34.81.

Rogers had to come from behind in the last 200 meters after trailing M’Rabet at the halfway point, 2:10.14 to 2:08.49. Rogers, however, had a much stronger third leg as he built a second-and-a-half lead at the 300-meter mark with a 3:26.99.

Women’s 200 Breaststroke
South African Tamaryn Laubscher garnered her first individual gold and second gold overall, with a crushing win in the 200 breaststroke. In a wire-to-wire conquest, Laubscher registered a 2:32.64 to defeat Morocco’s Sara El Bekri, who touched in 2:37.97. Algerian Lydia Yefsah concluded the top three with a bronze-winning 2:38.93.

Laubscher built a two-second lead at the halfway point with a 1:12.61 before bringing home the hardware with a 1:20.03 final 100 meters.

Women’s 800 Freestyle
Tunisian Maroua Mathlouthi snagged her fourth medal and second gold of the meet with a win in the 800 freestyle. She stopped the clock in 8:57.69 for the only sub-nine-minute performance of the event. Seychelles’ Austin earned her third medal of the meet with a silver-winning 9:04.09, while South African Natalia Du Toit picked up bronze with a 9:12.21.

Mathlouthi led the race from start to finish as she slowly built a second lead per 100 meters to finish with nearly a seven second win.

Men’s 800 Freestyle Relay
Algeria’s quartet of Mehdi Hamama, Ryad Djendouci, Naoufel Benabid and Kebbab cruised to victory in the men’s 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:45.32. Meanwhile, the Tunisian team of Mohamed Mettigi, Anouar Bennaceur, M’Rabet and Ahmed Mathlouthi garnered silver with a 7:50.47, while the Egyptian contingent of Mohamed Magdy, Aziz Mazen, Gad Allah and Abdel Rahman A. Bakr placed third in 7:53.19.

Hamama opened with a 1:57.27 leadoff leg for the Algerians, before giving way to Djendouci’s 1:55.91 second leg. Benabid then put together a 1:59.17 third split, before Kebbab brought the gold home in 1:52.97.