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Final Day of the 18th FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea

Gwangju, Sunday, 28th July 2019 - Zane Waddell brought the curtain on a spectacular FINA World Long-Course Championships winning the 50m backstroke gold medal in Gwangju, South Korea on the final day of the championships (Sunday evening).
Final Day of the 18th FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea

18th FINA World Championships 2019

The United States-based swimmer won South Africa’s fourth medal of the global showpiece winning the country’s only gold. Four-time Olympic medallist Chad le Clos won bronze in the 100m and 200m butterfly while Tatjana Schoenmaker won the women’s 200m breaststroke silver medal.

The 21-year-old Waddell, making his debut at the championships, was in stunning form on the final day of the championship swimming from lane two to upset a world-class field smashing into the wall with a winning time of 24.43 seconds. He was followed by Russian’s Evgeny Rylov and Kliment Kolesnikov in second third place with 24.49 and 24.51 respectively. Waddell’s time was just 0.09s short of the South African record Gerhard Zandberg set in 2009. He showed his potential shortly before the championships when he won gold in the 50m backstroke at the World Student Games in Napoli.

On Friday, Schoenmaker became the first South African woman to win a medal at the World Long-Course Championships. Her training partner Kaylene Corbett was also in the 200m breaststroke final marking the first time in two decades that two SA woman made it into the same final at a major swimming event.

National swimming coach Graham Hill said they expected Le Clos and Schoenmaker to produce the goods at the championships while others did not quite perform to their abilities.

“In general, a few of the other swimmers were disappointing, but there are no excuses where they were swimming below par and not firing or getting the results we wanted. Those going to the Africa Games in Morocco will have to step up again in a two-and-a-half week and perform a lot better than they did here,” Hill said.

SA Swimming Team in Gwangju, Korea:

Men

Alaric Basson, Michael Houlie, Chad le Clos, Aryton Sweeney, Bradley Tandy, Christopher Reid, Eben Vorster.

Women

Emma Chelius, Kaylene Corbett, Dune Coetzee, Erin Gallagher Tayla Lovemore, Rebecca Meder, Tatjana Schoenmaker, Nathania van Niekerk, Mariella Venter.

ENDS

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Swimming South Africa is the governing body of aquatics in South Africa.

Its objective is to encourage the practice of aquatic disciplines for all in South Africa with the purpose of promoting swimming as a life skill through Learn To Swim programmes; providing healthy exercise to South Africans of all ages and races; recruiting recreational swimmers to compete in the various competitions; and promoting competition and athlete development to the highest level. Swimming South Africa is kindly supported by SASCOC, National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Arena, Sport & Recreation SA and Rand Water.

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