Blast from the past: Parkin ushers in a great era


Blast from the past: Parkin ushers in a great era


Today in SA sports history: September 20

2000 — Deaf swimmer Terence Parkin becomes the first SA man to win an Olympic medal in the pool as he takes silver in the 200m breaststroke at the Sydney Games. Zimbabwe-born Parkin staged a dramatic fightback in the second half of the race, powering up the field after lying seventh at the halfway mark. At that stage no fewer than 12 SA women had won Olympic swimming medals in individual and relay races. Parkin ushered in a successful era of millennium men for the country, being followed to the podium by the likes of Roland Schoeman and Ryk Neethling in 2004, and Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos in 2012. Parkin happens to share a birthday, April 12, with Le Clos, both trained under coach Graham Hill in Pinetown outside Durban, and both won their first Olympic medals at the age of 20.

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