Willem Basson makes waves in the pool at DHL Lifesaving SA National Champs
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Gqeberha - Bellville teenager Willem Basson broke a national South African record and took double gold in the pool at the DHL Lifesaving South Africa National Championships at the Newton Park swimming complex.
Basson broke the South African record in the 100 LC Metres Manikin with fins and added a second gold in the 100 LC Rescue Medley.
It was a case of the old and the new flourishing in the pool with veteran Tuks' Johan Lourens superb and Basson equally impressive.
Lourens is just 25 years-old but in the competitive sport of lifesaving that means he has been around for more than a decade. He is Team South Africa's top pool specialist and will lead the charge in the Africa Games in Egypt from 1st to the 5th December. Lourens is also expected to feature prominently at the World Games in Birmingham, England, in 2022 and he has already qualified for the Games in the 100 LC Metres Manikin with fins.
Lourens, in tandem with Andries Mouton, also led Tuks to gold in the team events.
The DHL LSA National Championships, which finishes on Saturday, 9th October, has seen more than 1000 of the sport's finest masters, seniors, juniors and nippers produce outstanding performances in the surf and pool over the past week.
Durban Surf's Amica de Jager, who made the biggest impact in the surf events earlier in the week and was named female surf athlete, continued to enjoy success in the pool and she added a couple of silver medals to the six gold and one silver surf medals.
The boys trio of Elijah Dredge (Tuks), Len-Douglas MacKay (Bloemfontein) and Aiden Borman (Boksburg) were most impressive in the age group 15-16 years old and all of them enjoyed medal success in the week.
Branden Willows (Sentraal) edged out local favourite (Kings Beach's) Cullen Biddulph, who earlier in the week won gold. Andries Janse van Vuuren of Bloemfontein was also a regular on the podium.
Clifton's Holly Cleworth, another of the surf stars, also excelled in pool with a team gold and individual silver in the female age group 15-16 years old, with Bloemfontein's Guila Lausberg winning individual gold and Nicola Harcus was a familiar winner among the female 14 year-olds.
Tuks' Kendra du Toit was consistent in victory in the female 17-18 year-old section, Tuks' Tovre van Zyl was the pick of the winners in the female open division and Durban Surf's De Jager, Sasha-Lee Corris and Kristin Bellinghan were prominent. In the men's open category Lourens was his usual self, Andre Mouton had reason to cheer and Tuks's Robbie le Roux had a very strong and successful week.
The nippers, who earlier in the week broke 25 national records in the pool, are completing their week in the surf championship at Kings Beach.