Wantenaar in great form at Africa Games

Ronan Wantenaar with the president of the Namibia Olympic Committee, Abner Xoagub. Photo: Contributed

Namibian swimmer Ronan Wantenaar continued his great form at the Africa Games in Accra, Ghana when he won a second medal on Monday evening. 

Wantenaar won a gold medal in the men’s 100m breaststroke final on Sunday, and followed that up with a silver medal in the 200m breaststroke final on Monday. 

In the 100m final he beat Jaouad Syoud of Algeria by a mere 0,07 seconds to claim the gold medal, but on Monday, Syoud took revenge to claim the 200m gold medal in 2:14,82, while Wantenaar finished second in 2:15,52, and Andrew Ross of South Africa third in 2:18,50. 

Earlier on Monday, Wantenaar and Syoud were both drawn in Heat 2, with Syoud coming first in 2:18,12 and Wantenaar third in 2:21,28. 

Namibia’s Oliver Durand failed to make the final after coming sixth in the same heat in 2:29,35.

Wantenaar, meanwhile, was well set to win a third medal in the 50m breaststroke after setting the third fastest time in the heats yesterday morning. 

He won Heat 4 in 28,49, but the first two swimmers in Heat 5, Youssef Elkamash of Egypt (28,28) and Adrian Robinson of Botswana (28,38) both posted faster times. The final was due to take place last night. 

Wantenaar yesterday said that he felt good although there is still room for improvement. 

“I feel good so far. My first day I was under pressure to get the gold medal, but I felt good for the race. Yesterday in the 200m breaststroke it was a bit of a gamble, so I had to push it, but I feel like there’s still room for improvement, and I personally feel that the 200m could be my main event for the upcoming competitions,” he said.

“This morning I had my 50m breaststroke heat which felt really good. It went very well over the first 25m, but then I held back a bit on the second 25m so I’m hoping to make it happen tonight and get that gold for Namibia,” he added.

Xander Skinner, who won the silver medal in the 100m freestyle on Saturday, also qualified for the 100m butterfly final after coming third in his heat in 56,43 on Monday. In yesterday’s final, however, he finished eighth in 56,56, while Abdalla Nasr of Egypt won gold in 53,29. 

Jessica Humphrey qualified for the final of the women’s 50m backstroke after coming second in her heat in 30,53 seconds. In the final, however, she missed out on a medal after finishing sixth in 30,14 seconds. Caitlin de Lange of South Africa won the gold medal in 28,76 seconds. 

Mollina Smalley qualified for the women’s 400m freestyle final, but failed to win a medal after finishing fifth in a time of 4:40,41. Catherine van Rensburg of South Africa won the gold medal in 4:17,92. 

In the women’s 100m butterfly, Reza Westerduin and Trisha Mutumbulua failed to reach the final. Westerduin came fourth in Heat 3 in 1:06,35, while Mutumbulua came sixth in the same heat in 1:09,87. 

By yesterday morning Namibia were lying 11th overall on the medal count.

Egypt were way out in front with 85 medals (48 gold, 19 silver, 18 bronze), followed by Nigeria (16 gold, 10 silver, 15 bronze) and Algeria (15 gold, 20 silver, 20 bronze).

South Africa were lying fourth with 12 gold,16 silver and 22 bronze medals. 

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