15 year-old Michelle Webber, who recently brought home a gold medal from the 1st FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships, showed off her skills once again in the shorter 200m freestyle where she claimed the gold in a time of 2:03.80. SA’s Kyna Pereira was close behind in 2:04.24 with the bronze going to Tunisia’s Zeineb Khalfalla in 2:06.89.
Olympian Mandy Loots improved on her heats time to take the 50m butterfly title in 27.75 while Lehesta Kemp won her fourth medal of the competition, silver, in 28.44. The bronze medal went to Algeria’s Fella Bennaceur in 28.97.
South African’s only bronze medal of the night was claimed by 17 year-old Tara Nicholas in the 200m breaststroke, touching the wall in 2:39.89.
The women were also the star attractions on the day one of competition, bagging seven of the 10 medals won by the South African swimming team on Monday.
Golden girl, Lehesta Kemp was victorious on three occasions in the 100m freestyle; 50m backstroke and as part of the 800m freestyle relay team.
In the 100m freestyle, Kemp was ahead of team-mate Kyna Pereira and won the race in 57.98 to Pereira’s 58.32, while the bronze medal went to Tunisia’s Zeineb Khalfalla in 58.83.
It was a close finish in the 50m backstroke for Kemp, touching the wall in 30.67 to SA’s Nathania van Niekerk in 30.69. The bronze medal was won by Tunisia’s Asma Samood in 31.06.
To end her evening on a high note, Kemp took part in the 800m freestyle relay with Rene Warnes, Pereira and Michelle Webber, where they finished in the top spot with a time of 8:39.57. Egypt and Algeria claimed the silver and bronze in 8:53.64 and 9:06.66 respectively.
In the 400m individual medley, Rene Warnes was over five second ahead of veteran Mandy Loots and took the title in a time of 4:59.82, while Loots finished second in 5:04.28 and Egypt’s Rowida Mohamed Tolba third in 5:09.63.
The 11th African Senior Swimming Championships, which also features Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Seychelles, Congo Brazzaville, Burundi, Algeria, Tunisia, Cameroon, Senegal, Nigeria, DRC, Botswana, Rwanda, Namibia, Uganda and Ethiopia, will conclude on Sunday, 16th September 2012.