/ 28 May 2008

SA swimmers gear up for Olympics

South Africa’s swim stars are set to gather in Cape Town this weekend for the final national swimming camp in home waters before they take up the challenge in a series of international galas prior to competing at the Beijing Olympic Games in August.

Swimming SA head coach Dirk Lange and his coaching staff will guide the national team through their training at Swimming SA’s National Training Centre at the University of the Western Cape from May 31 to June 4.

Following the training camp in Cape Town, the SA Olympic team swimmers will fly to Europe to compete in the Setti Colli Cup in Rome (June 6 to 8), the Mare Nostrum in Barcelona (June 10 to 11), in Canet (June 14 to 15) and in Paris (June 17 to 19) before arriving back in South Africa on June 21.

United States-based Olympic team swimmers Roland Schoeman, Ryk Neethling, Gideon Louw, Troyden Prinsloo, Neil Versfeld, Jean Basson, Darian Townsend and Lyndon Ferns have been excused from attending the camp in Cape Town, while Tuks swimmers Suzaan van Biljon, William Diering and Lize-Mari Retief will be absent due to academic commitments.

”The South African swimmers displayed their capabilities at the Telkom SA National Aquatics Championships held in Durban in April, which also served as the official Olympic trials for team selection for the Olympic Games, and we have a solid base to build from as we travel the road towards Beijing,” said Lange. — Sapa