Commonwealth Games

SA end Day 2 with 7 medals

2014-07-26 08:05
SA 4x100 relay team (Gallo Images)

Glasgow - Team SA ended day two of the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Friday with seven medals in the bag -- two silver and five bronze.

Swimmers Roland Schoeman and Chad le Clos added silver and bronze to the team's medal haul in the men's butterfly 50m.

England's Ben Proud was first out of the blocks and always had the edge in setting a new Games record of 22.93 seconds.

The previous record of 23.14 dates back to Schoeman's gold in Melbourne in 2006, which he improved by one hundredth of a second in securing the silver, while Le Clos clocked 23.36 for bronze.

"An 11th Commonwealth medal is something special," said Schoeman who received a text suggesting he was too old to continue.

"Something like that motivates me. I can think of no better day-job than to be a professional athlete. I get to travel the world , meet interesting people. There is nothing better.

"I think I'm learning to value the journey more -- this is my fifth Commonwealth Games," added the 34-year-old.

"It was quicker than eight years ago and I believe I'm on target to go 22.8 at some stage, but that wasn't meant to be at this time. "A silver's a silver and Ben Proud's a worthy champion tonight." Le Clos said it was great to have two South Africans on the podium.

"If you had asked me in Johannesburg a week ago I would have been ecstatic to get bronze," said the 22-year-old, who set his personal best in the heats.

"Today I had a vision of becoming the first person ever to do the triple (50m, 100m and 200m butterfly).

"I still have the ambition to become the most decorated swimmer at any Commonwealth Games. This bronze kicks that off towards the planned seven medals."

Le Clos has a hectic schedule and had to withdraw from the 400 individual medley due to illness that stopped him from training for almost a week. Sebastien Rousseau gave South Africa their fifth bronze medal and third of the day in the 400m individual medley.

The American-based swimmer took the lead in the butterfly and extended it in the backstroke with the Australian Tom Fraser-Holmes the closest.

However, Scot Daniel Wallace made his move on the breaststroke return, leaving it down to a freestyle sprint that saw both Wallace and the Australian pass Rousseau, who claimed the bronze in 4:13.09.

Wallace, who had set a new Games record of 4:11.04 in the morning heat, was 0.16 second slower in earning his gold, with Fraser-Holmes finishing in 4:12.04 for silver.

Rousseau's bronze provides him with a good foundation for Rio 2016, where his focus will be to return to the podium. Team SA added to its medal tally by claiming silver after finishing strongly behind Australia in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay later on Friday evening.

Australia set a record Commonwealth Games time of 3:13.44 but South Africa gave the reigning champions a scare by leading at the halfway point. The South African quartet of Le Clos, Schoeman, Leith Shankland and Caydon Muller finished in 3:15.17, with England claiming the bronze medal ahead of hosts Scotland.

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