Van Niekerk Completes Breaststroke Sweep At CANA Championships


  • September 10-16, 2018
  • Algiers, Algeria
  • Results

South African Lara van Niekerk completed a sweep of the women’s breaststroke events at the 13th CANA Swimming & Open Water Championships (African Championships) on days 3 and 4, having won the 200 on day 2.

In the 50 on day 3, Zambian Tilka Paljk broke the meet record in the prelims in a time of 32.06, but it was van Niekerk (31.99) who emerged with the gold in the final as she cracked Paljk’s mark by .07. Paljk won silver in 32.15.

The next day in the 100, it was van Niekerk (1:11.13) winning over Egypt’s Rowida Hesham (1:12.01), with South Africa’s Jade Simons (1:12.19) in for the bronze and Paljk (1:13.41) back in 4th.

Also continuing their early success in the meet on days 3 and 4 was Egyptian Mohamed Samy, who had won four golds through two days and added three more on Wednesday and Thursday.

Samy won the 100 free in a new meet record of 49.39 over teammate Ali Khalafalla (49.89) on day 3, giving him four individual golds for the competition. He closed the session out with another win on Egypt’s 800 free relay, anchoring in 1:53.85 as Marwan El Kamash (1:49.81) was their fastest split. Samy also won bronze in the 200 back (2:06.88) on the day behind Algerian Mohamed Bouhamidi (2:05.13).

Egypt continued their relay success on day 4 with the men’s 4×100 free title in 3:21.61, led by quick 3rd and 4th legs from Samy (49.88) and Khalafalla (49.40).


  • Egypt’s Hania Moro followed up her 200 free win on day 2 with golds in the 400 (4:21.76) and 800 free (8:56.95) on days 3 and 4.
  • Samiha Mohsen of Egypt won the women’s 100 back in a time of 1:04.19 over South Africa’s Hannah Kiely (1:04.53).
  • Abdelrahman Sameh and Khalafalla continued Egypt’s run with a 1-2 finish in the men’s 50 fly in times of 23.71 and 24.10.
  • South African Erin Gallagher anchored the South African women to gold in the 400 free relay with a split of 54.76, as their 3:52.53 cleared Egypt (3:55.27) by a wide margin. That gave Gallagher four gold medals on the meet.
  • On day 4 Gallagher added another silver to her collection in the 100 fly, as Egypt’s Farida Osman won handily in 59.03 and Gallagher was 2nd in 1:00.45.
  • El Kamash, who won the 800 on day 2 and was the runner-up in the 200 on day 1, won the men’s 400 free easily in a new meet record of 3:51.12.
  • 400 IM gold medalist Ayrton Sweeney won the men’s 200 breast in a meet record time of 2:14.04.


Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1.Egypt 17 11 2 30
2.South Africa 9 12 8 29
3.Algeria 2 2 8 12
4.Tunisia 1 4 4 9
5.Morocco 0 1 2 3
6.Zambia 0 1 1 2
7.Mauritius 0 0 1 1

Through four days, Egypt has really asserted their dominance at the top with 17 golds. South Africa is only one behind their total tally of 30, but only has nine golds. Algeria overtook Tunisia for 3rd over days 3 and 4.

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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