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Lara van Niekerk saves SA swimming team’s blushes with late medal

by ZwemZa on June 26th, 2022

Lara van Niekerk on the podium at the Fina World Championships. Picture: Getty Images

Junior sensation Lara van Niekerk ended South Africa’s drought at the Fina World Championships in Budapest on Saturday night, grabbing the national team’s first medal after eight days of competition in the pool.

The 19-year-old breaststroke specialist touched the wall third in the women’s 50m final, taking bronze in the sprint event in 29.90 seconds.

Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania won gold in 29.70 and world record holder Benedetta Pilato earned silver in 29.80.

Had Van Niekerk missed out on the podium, it would have been the first time in 22 years that South African swimmers had failed to secure a medal at the World Championships.

“I’m so happy. My first senior world champs and winning a medal, I think it’s a bonus,” Van Niekerk said.

The Fina World Championships, which also includes diving, artistic swimming, water polo and open water swimming, will come to a close on Thursday.

By Wesley Botton | The Citizen

From → African News

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