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SA swimmer Zane Waddell wins gold medal at Fina Championships

The 21-year-old stopped the clock after 24.43 seconds to finish ahead of the Russian duo of Evgeny Rilov and current world record holder Kliment Kolesnikov.

South Africa's Zane Waddell celebrates winning the final of the men's 50m backstroke event during the swimming competition at the 2019 World Championships at Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center in Gwangju, South Korea, on 28 July 2019. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - South African Zane Waddell pulled off a massive upset at the Fina World Championships on the final day of competition in Gwangju, claiming gold in the 50m backstroke.

The 21-year-old stopped the clock after 24.43 seconds to finish ahead of the Russian duo of Evgeny Rilov and current world record holder Kliment Kolesnikov.

It's the first time in 12 years that a South African won the event. Gerhard Znadberg was the last local swimmer to top the podium in Melbourne in 2007

Team South Africa moved up to joint 10th, alongside Sweden on the medal table.

Waddell joined Chad le Clos and Tatjana Schoenmaker as the only other South African swimmers to have won a medal at the World Champs.

Le Clos claimed bronze in the 100m butterfly to add to his bronze in the 200m fly.

Schoenmaker made history earlier in the week, becoming the first South African female swimmer to a medal at the World Champs.

The 22-year-old winning silver in the 200m breaststroke to take South Africa's medal tally to four.