SA swimmers Van Niekerk and Coetzee win first gold medals at Commonwealth Games

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa's rising teenage star swimmers won the country’s first men’s and women’s medals of the 2022 Commonwealth Games on Saturday.

Lara van Niekerk (19) and Pieter Coetze (18) each made history by winning SA's first ever Commonwealth Games medals in the men’s 100 backstroke and women's 50m breaststroke heat.

In the 50m breaststroke heat, Van Niekerk set a new Commonwealth Games record in a time of 29.82 – only to break it again in the semi-finals later that night.

Van Niekerk was not the only South African in Saturday's 50m breaststroke final. She was joined by Olympic gold medallist and world record holder Tatjana Schoenmaker who finished fourth.

Coetze had finished 24th during the preliminaries of the 2020 Olympic Games and now he can call himself a Commonwealth Games champion.

He won the men’s 100 backstroke in a time of 53.78 to snatch the gold medal, with England’s Brodie Williams (53.91) taking the silver medal. Australia’s Bradley Woodward in 54.06 collected the bronze medal.

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Team SA is in action in 11 different sports on Sunday which is day three of competition at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

A GOLDEN good morning from Birmingham #B2022 #TeamSA

Maphuti Hlako (@maphuti_africa) July 31, 2022

Artmotion S.Africa

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