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Du Toit's 30 Laps Of Honour

Jul 17, 2007  - Craig Lord

All but one final at the 9th All-Africa Games in Algiers produced a Games record, with South Africa continuing to rule the waves and loading its treasury with four more gold medals.

The three that did not go to the southern tip of Africa went to US-based Zimbabwean Kirsty Coventry in a Games record of 2:10.66 over 200m backstroke, US-based Kenyan Jason Dunford in a Games record of 23.91 over 50m butterfly and Tunisia's Ahmed Mathlouti in 2:05.21 over 200m medley.

The most heartening victory came from Natalie du Toit, who set a Games record of 17:09.05 over 1,500m freestyle. That makes the paralympian faster than the abled-bodied world record that stood before the advent of a young Australian called Shane Gould. An amazing effort. Silver went to Maroua Mathlouthi, of Tunisia and sibling of the men's medley winner, in 17:22.83, and bronze to South Africa's Dominique Dryding in 17:31.51.

Amanda Loots took the 200m butterfly in a Games record of 2:14.28, just 0.49sec ahead of South African teammate Kathryn Meaklim (2:14.77), with Zimbabwe's Heather Brand third on 2:17.59.

The South African 4x100m medley quartet claimed an African record of 3:44.92 to defeat Algeria (3:47.31) and Egypt (3:49.60) over 4x100m medley. The names of the teams: South Africa (Gerhard Zandberg, Thabang Moeketsane, George Du Rand, Gideon Louw); Algeria (Naoufel Benabid, Sofiane Daid, Ryad Djendouci, Nabil Kebbab); Egypt (Ahmed Hussein, Ayman Abdelraouf, Ahmed Nada, Abdelrahman Elbadrawi), 3:49.60.

Suzaan Van Biljon added to the RSA's celebrations with a 32.62 Games record over 50m breaststroke ahead of Algerians Amira Kouza (33.03) and Mériem Lamri (33.25).

Coventry was followed home by South Africans Melissa Corfe (2:13.88) and Jessica Pengelly (2:15.59); Mathilouti claimed his gold by just 0.02sec over South African Riaan Schoeman, the bronze going to the same nation courtesy of Darian Townsend, on 2:06.10.

Dunford took his 50m 'fly triumph 0.55sec ahead of the splendidly named Nigerian Yellow Yeiyah (24.46) and South African Garth Tune (25.02).

The times above are courtesy of international agencies, and not the official website of the Games, which continues to report relay results as events that took 75 hours etc and some other events as having lasted in the region of 3 seconds. The Games are attended by a fair few folk who travel the globe on IOC duty and in service of myriad international federations. Where are they when their supposed experience would be really useful, one wonders. Probably in the bar or restaurant. Just a guess, of course.

They might want to take a glimpse at the results pages of the Games official website and take some action. Algiers should be seriously embarrased that the following nonsense (and much more besides) is being distributed to the world:

4x100m freestyle men:
1. RSA 85:46.00
2 ALG 182:42.00
3 ANG 218:30.00

Well, that's one way to report a swimming result.