13th CANA Swimming & Open Water Championships
South African Erin Gallagher and Egyptian Mohamed Samy had a successful start to the 13th CANA Swimming & Open Water Championships in Algeria, both winning multiple gold medals on the opening day of competition. CANA stands for the African Swimming Association (Confederation Africaine De Natation Amateur).
Gallagher doubled up with wins in the 100 free (54.79) and 50 back (29.04), beating out Egyptians Farida Osman (56.80) and Samiha Mohsen (29.51) who picked up silvers. Both swims were new meet records for Gallagher.
At the end of the session, she anchored in 2:02.03 as the South African women came out on top in the 800 free relay in a time of 8:29.89.
Samy won two individual golds himself, winning the 200 free in 1:49.62 over Egypt’s Marwan El-Kamash (1:49.88), and also beat out South Africa’s Jacques van Wyk (25.90) in the 50 back (25.49). Both of his swims were also meet records.
Day 1 also saw a new meet record in the men’s 100 breast from Tunisian Elloumi Wassim (1:01.26), taking out South Africa’s Alaric Basson and Egypt’s Youssef El-Kamash who tied for 2nd in 1:01.54, and Algerian Nesfi Rania Hamida winning the women’s 400 IM in 4:56.96. Wassim’s swim was also a Tunisian National Record.
Gallagher continued her medal run on day 2, adding a pair of silvers in the women’s 50 fly and the mixed 400 free relay. However, the second day was a dominant one for Egypt.
Osman (26.16) won the 50 fly over Gallagher (26.64) in a new meet record, and then led Egypt (3:36.94) to narrow a win over the South Africans (3:37.06) in the mixed 400 free relay. Osman split 56.58, and was joined by the likes of Ali Khalafalla (50.84) on the lead-off and Samy (49.15) on the anchor. Gallagher was the fastest female in the field at 55.02.
Samy added another individual gold to his haul on the second day, claiming the men’s 100 fly in 53.72.
Youssef Elkamash added a gold to his silver from day 1 with a win in the men’s 50 breast, taking the final in 28.04 after establishing a meet record of 27.95 in the heats. He was followed by Wassim, who equalled his Tunisian Record in 28.25 for silver, and Basson won bronze in 28.42.
Egypt had two other wins on the night from Marwan Elkamash in the men’s 800 free (8:02.37) and Hania Moro in the women’s 200 free (2:04.46), giving them six of eight events for the day.
The lone South African wins came from Ayrton Sweeney in the men’s 400 IM (4:21.69) and Lara Van Niekerk in the women’s 200 breast (2:35.25).
MEDAL STANDINGS THROUGH DAY 2
Through two days Egypt and South Africa are deadlocked at 15 medals apiece, but Egypt leads the official medal standings with eight gold medals to South Africa’s five.