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January 9, 2005

Double gold is just start for powerful Parkin

From: Independent Online, South Africa - Jan 9, 2005

Lindsey Arkley
January 09 2005 at 01:42PM

Melbourne: Durban's Terence Parkin has won two gold medals in the swimming pool for South Africa at the 20th Summer Deaflympics. The 24-year-old on Saturday showed he is in sizzling form, setting the pace in the qualifying heats, then winning the final of the 400m freestyle, and the 50m breaststroke.

He set new Deaflympics records in both events. Nick Lessing of Gauteng finished in fourth place in the 400m freestyle. The two golds are the only medals for South Africa so far at the Melbourne Games but it seems certain more are to come, especially in the pool.

Parkin, a silver medallist in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, is scheduled to start in eight other individual freestyle, breaststroke and individual medley events in Melbourne, as well as three relays.

"He's in great form, that's for sure," swimming squad coach, Damian Marshall said yesterday after the two victories.

"And he's fit enough, so hopefully he'll be able to keep going and win a lot more medals."

On Saturday, Parkin also blitzed the field in the qualifying heats of the 200m individual medley, with a time of two minutes: 05,48 seconds, well ahead of the next closest swimmer from Germany in 2:12,00.

Parkin then helped South Africa set the fastest qualifying heat time in the 800m freestyle relay in 8:15,16, with the United States team second in 8:22,00. The other members of the relay team are Lessing and his brother, Greg, and Marko Jansen van Niewenhuizen.

"The opposition in the relay is tough from Australia and the US but we might be able to do it," Marshall said. Greg Lessing has also swum the fastest time in the heats of the 200m backstroke .

Parkin's gold medals have already put South Africa's relatively small team of 21 athletes well ahead of other larger contingents on the medal table.

Chef de mission Tony Heyns has predicted South Africa should "most definitely" do better than at the previous Deaflympic Games in Italy in 2001, when they won 13 medals: eight gold, two silver and three bronze.

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