/ 7 September 2008

Marvellous Meaklim makes it seven

Durban-based Olympic swim star Kathryn Meaklim enhanced her reputation as one of the leading female swimmers on the national aquatics scene by chalking up seven gold-medal-winning performances at the four-day Telkom South African Short-Course Championships, which ended at the Delville Swimming Pool in Germiston on Sunday.

Representing Pisces ASC, Meaklim (19) powered her way to gold in the 200m individual medley in 2:12,65, ahead of Cape Town Olympic star Jessica Pengelly (2:12,99), before clocking 2:01,56 to take the 200m freestyle title.

Earlier, Meaklim had triumphed in the 200m butterfly (2:11,74), 400m individual medley (4:41,53), the 800m freestyle (8:57,63), the 200m breaststroke (2:28,56) and the 400m freestyle (4:12,42).

Roland Schoeman’s 50m freestyle world record of 20,64 seconds was the undoubted highlight of the championships, while African bests set by Schoeman in the 50m butterfly (22,74), Cameron van der Burgh in the 50m breaststroke (26,61), and Van der Burgh, Darren Murray, Marius Hattingh and Gregor Widmer, under the guise of TuksSwimming — NT in the 4x100m medley relay (3:39,99), gave swimming enthusiasts much to cheer about.

Add in the fine form shown by triple gold medallist Chanelle van Wyk, who equalled the national 50m backstroke record of 28 seconds, held by Charlene Wittstock, and made it to the top of the medal podium in the 50m freestyle (25,84) and 100m backstroke (1:00,75), and fans can look forward to some fast times by the South Africans at the Fina/Arena Swimming World Cup to be held in Durban on October 17 and 18.

In the multi-disability programme, Central Gauteng’s Craig Groenewald secured a world record in the 200m individual medley, finishing in 2:21,96, to add to his gold medal won in the 100m freestyle earlier in the day (56,28). Groenewald was in fine form at the short course showpiece, collecting a total of 10 gold medals. — Sapa