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January 10, 2005

SA swimmers exceeding expectations

From: Independent Online, South Africa - Jan 10, 2005

By Lindsey Arkley

Melbourne - South Africa on Sunday dominated the swimming at the 20th Summer Deaflympics, winning gold in all three finals of the men's events.

First, 22-year-old Greg Lessing, of Gauteng, won gold in the 200m backstroke, in a world-record time for a deaf swimmer of 2:08.54.

Winning silver for South Africa in second place was his 18-year-old brother, Nick, with bronze going to the Ukraine.

Terence Parkin of Durban added another gold for South Africa in the 200m individual medley, ahead of opponents from China and the Ukraine.

Then Parkin and the Lessing brothers teamed up with Marko Jansen van Niewenhuizen to win gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay in a time of 8:03.03 - well ahead of the Ukrainian team on 8:15.35, with bronze going to Ireland.

Parkin, a silver medallist in the Sydney 2000 Olympics, had already won gold for South Africa on Saturday in both the 400m freestyle and the 50m breaststroke events in Melbourne.

"At the moment we have the world in awe because of our swimming," South Africa's chef de mission, Tony Heyns, declared on Sunday night.

"We're feeling terrific and the world is really looking up to South Africa after our performances," he said, through sign-language interpreter Peter Du Toit.

South Africa still have 10 more swimming events in Melbourne in which they have strong medal chances, Heyns added. - Independent Foreign Service

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