Waddell delighted with World University Games gold

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Zane Waddell PHOTO: @AlabamaSwimDive

The 21-year-old Free Stater, Zane Waddell, is delighted with the gold medal he won on Sunday night at the 30th Summer Universiade at the Scandone Swimming Pool in Napoli, Italy.

The Grey College old boy, who is swimming out of the University of Alabama in the USA clinched the 50m backstroke gold in a new games record time of 24.48 sec. Waddell and the USA’s Justin Ress touched the wall at the exact same time to share the honours.

Russia’s Grigory Tarasevich claimed the bronze in 24.94 sec.

The medal was South Africa’s third gold at the championships.

Speaking to OFM Sport from Napoli, Waddell, said that he was delighted with both the gold and with the record.

“I am absolutely thrilled with the gold in the 50m backstroke on Sunday night, and I am just as excited about breaking the World University Games record which had been standing since 2009.

“So, it was absolutely amazing getting the record and the gold in that event.

“The other events in which I will be swimming here in Napoli are the 50m, 100m freestyle, the 100m backstroke, as well as, I will be competing in two of South Africa’s relays.

“They will be the 4 x 100m freestyle relays and the 4 x 100m medley relay.

“So far it has been an absolutely incredible experience racing against some of the world’s best here in Napoli. The Italians have really put on a great show for us. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Waddell also finished 22nd in the morning heats of the 100m freestyle in 50.39 sec ahead of another Bloemfonteiner, Eben Vorster. Vorster, who attended Hoërskool Sentraal and is the son of the famous actor, Chris Vorster, finished the evening 51.93 sec, which was good enough for the 48th place. – MORGAN PIEK / OFM SPORT