2019 AFRICAN GAMES
- Wednesday, August 21 – Saturday, August 24th (pool swimming)
- Casablanca, Morocco
Formerly known as the All-Africa Games, the African Games have kicked off in Morocco, with the pool swimming portion taking place in Casablanca through Saturday, August 24th. The multi-national games have been held every 4 years since the first edition in 1965, with disability events included since 1999.
In the past, South Africa has dominated the swimming medal table, with the nation taking home a total of 54 medals at the 2015 edition of the continental competition, with 25 of those being gold. Egypt was the runner-up in 2015, reaping 41 swimming medals overall, with 11 gold, while Algeria was a distant 3rd with 10 medals in all.
Men’s Events Through Day 2
Kicking things off yesterday was Michael Houlie of South Africa, who also swims for the University of Tennessee in the NCAA. He clinched the gold in the men’s 50m breast event in a time of 27.41, holding off Egypt’s Youssef Elkamash who touched just .11 later in 27.52 for silver. Bronze was nabbed by Tunisia’s Wassim Elloumi in a mark of 28.27.
For Houlie, the 19-year-old Youth Olympic Games gold medalist in this event fell short of the semi-finals at this year’s World Championships. In Gwangju, Houlie hit the wall in 27.41, exactly his same time here in Morocco, to finish 19th. In Buenos Aires last year, Houlie took the YOG gold in 27.51.
Houlie also contested the men’s 100m breast today, day 2, winding up with the bronze in a time of 1:01.55. It was his teammate Alaric Basson who took the top spot, clocking a winning effort of 1:00.96. Elkamash snagged silver between the two in a time of 1:01.52 to pair with his 50m breast silver.
Algerian speedster Oussama Sahnoune did his thing in the 100m free, earning the only sub-49 second time of the field. Hitting the wall in 48.97, the French-trained Sahnoune earned a new Games Record, beating runner-up Ali Khalafalla of Egypt by almost a second. Khalafalla produced a time of 49.81 for silver, while Mohamed Hassan rounded out the top 3 in 49.85.
Sahoune’s countryman Ramzi Chouchar took down the nation’s standard in the men’s 400m IM, putting up a winning time of 4:23.53. That slashed over 2 seconds off of the previous Algerian NR of 4:25.96 he established at the French Championships this past April.
Additional Men’s Winners:
- Egyptian swimmer Ahmed Mahmoud was too tough for the men’s 800m free, as he topped the podium in a winning swim of 7:57.21.
- Algeria’s Jaouad Syoud won the men’s 200m fly in a time of 2:01.01, with his countryman Lounis Khendriche touching in 2:02.49 to make it a 1-2 finish for the nation.
- Marwan Elkamash of Egypt snagged the men’s 2free victory in 1:49.10.
- South Africa’s Martin Binedell came out on top of the 200m back, hitting the wall in 1:59.03 for a new Games Record.
- Abdelrahman Elaraby gave Egypt another gold, winning the men’s 50m fly in 23.81, just .07 ahead of teammate Ali Khalafalla‘s silver medal-worthy effort of 23.88. World Championships swimmer Ryan Coetzee of South Africa took bronze in 24.04.
- South African won the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay, topping the podium in 3:21.63.
Women’s Events Through Day 2
Another South African landed atop the women’s edition of the 50m breast, as 20-year-old World Championships swimmer Kaylene Corbett rocked a winning effort of 32.20 to beat the field by half a second. Corbett’s time represents a new African Games Record to boot.
Her teammate Christin Mundell snagged silver in 32.70, while Zambia’s Tilka Paljk got on the podium with the bronze in 32.92.
Corbett joined Tatjana Schoenmaker in the women’s 200m breaststroke final at the World Championships this summer in Gwangju, Korea, where Schoenmaker took silver. Corbett wound up 8th in a time of 2:26.62.
The South African National Record holder in the women’s 100m free, Erin Gallagher, struck gold in the sprint event in Morrocco. The 20-year-old beat out Olympian Farida Osman of Egypt to touch in a time of 55.13 to Osman’s 55.62.
Gallagher owns the RSA record at the 54.23 she put up at last year’s Commonwealth Games, while Osman nailed a new record of 54.93 in the 100m free heats in Gwangju. Osman ultimately finished 28th with that outing, while Gallagher’s heat swim at those World Championsips rendered her 20th.
Osman reversed the arrangement here in Morrocco in the 50m fly on day 2, taking the victory in a time of 25.94, a new Games Record. She owns her nation’s fastest time ever with the 25.39 she produced at the 2017 World Championships. This year she finished with the bronze in Gwangju with a time of 25.47.
Gallagher took silver tonight in 26.24, a time that slices .01 off of the newly-minted South African National Record clocked by Tayla Lovemore at this summer’s World University Games.
Additional Women’s Winners:
- Seychelles got on the board, courtesy of Felicity Passon. She clocked a time of 2:14.55 to top the women’s 200m backstroke podium.
- Egypt’s Nour Elgendy won the women’s 200m fly in 2:18.21.
- South Africa’s Samantha Randle was the women’s 400m IM winner in 4:55.31.
- Egypt’s Hania Moro doubled up on freestyle golds, winning the 200m free in 2:04.31 and the 1500m in 17:06.71.
- South African women took the 4x100m freestyle relay gold in 3:48.88, a new Games Record. The nation also snagged the medley relay gold in a new Games Record of 3:50.76.
African Games Swimming Medal Table Through Day 2
|1||South Africa (RSA)||11||7||6||24|
|Totals (9 nations)||22||22||22||6|