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Birmingham 2022

Schoenmaker and Corbett deliver two breaststroke gongs for SA

Chad Le Clos wins medal No 18

31 July 2022 - 20:42
Tatjana Schoenmaker celebrates with Kaylene Corbett after they won gold and bronze in the 200m breaststroke in Birmingham.
Tatjana Schoenmaker celebrates with Kaylene Corbett after they won gold and bronze in the 200m breaststroke in Birmingham.
Image: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Olympic champion Tatjana Schoenmaker kept her Commonwealth Games 200m breaststroke crown on Sunday, with stablemate Kaylene Corbett taking the bronze behind her. 

The Tuks swimmer led from the start to touch first in 2min 21.92sec — slightly slower than her 2:21.76 effort in the heats — but she beamed with joy as she hugged Corbett in the pool straight after the race. 

Corbett has swum in her wake since the last Games, finishing off the podium at the 2019 world championships and then the Tokyo Olympics, but on Sunday they got to share a medal ceremony at last.

Australian Jenna Strauch was second in 2:23.65, while Corbett, who had to work hard on the final lap after turning in fifth spot, clocked 2:23.67. 

This was the second breaststroke gold for SA after Lara van Niekerks 50m triumph on Saturday. Schoenmaker will set about the defence of her 100m breaststroke title on Monday in the heats and semifinals.

Tatjana Schoenmaker celebrates on the podium with Kaylene Corbett.
Tatjana Schoenmaker celebrates on the podium with Kaylene Corbett.
Image: REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Earlier Chad Le Clos won the 18th Games medal of his career, but he lost the 200m butterfly crown he had held since 2010. 

He is now jointly holds the all-time record haul of 18 Games medals alongside two shooters, Australian Phillip Adams and Mick Gault of England. 

Le Clos went out hard and held the lead going out of the final turn, but New Zealand’s Lewis Clareburt, who on the Saturday won the 400m individual medley that Le Clos had won 12 years ago, stormed past at the end to touch in 1min 55.60sec. 

Le Clos was second in 1:55.89 and Englishman James Guy third in 1:56.77. 

Le Clos lifted his first 200m fly crown at the 2010 Games in Delhi, winning it in a 1:56.48 Games record, and he lowered the mark to 1:55.07 at Glasgow 2014 and then dropped it further to 1:54.00 at Gold Coast 2018. 

His mark survives for at least another four years. 

Newly crowned 100m backstroke champion Pieter Coetzé is on track to add a 50m backstroke gong to his haul after winning his semifinal in 24.81, just one-hundredth of a second faster than Andrew Jeffcoat of New Zealand, who won the other semifinal. 

Erin Gallagher qualified second fastest in the women’s 50m butterfly behind Australian Emma McKeon, who could crash Le Clos’ record haul party at these Games. 

She won her 16th in the women’s 50m freestyle on Sunday, and could surpass 18 before the end of this gala. 

Le Clos has the 100m butterfly on Monday as well as the 4x100m medley and 4x200m freestyle relays to add to his haul. 

In other action elsewhere, bowlers Thabelo Muvhango, Bridget Calitz, Esme Kruger and Johanna Snyman narrowly held off a powerful England team in their women’s fours quarterfinal 12-11, after enjoying an 8-2 lead after six ends. 

The English outfit boasted two world championship medallists, and all had made the podium at previous Games.  

Weightlifter Anneke Spies ended fourth in the women’s 59kg competition. She managed 85kg in the snatch and 105kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 190kg, 6kg short of the podium.

The Proteas netball team comprehensively beat Barbados 91-36 and East London boxer Simnikiwe  Bongco won his round-of-16 middleweight contest against Foday Badjie of The Gambia on points. 

In triathlon, the mixed relay team of Jamie Riddle, Simone Ackerman, Henri Schoeman and Shanae Williams finished eighth in 1hr 21min 17sec. 

Riddle gave Team SA some early hope in the first leg, finishing the 300m swim in first place, and he was still in the fight for the lead by the end of the 5km bike and fourth after the 2km run. 

But after that the SA team slipped backwards.


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