SA swimmers target qualifying times

Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh will line up at the national championships in Port Elizabeth on Monday for the first time as Olympic gold medallists and are likely to dominate proceedings.

The 21-year-old Le Clos will be competing in the 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly events and the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle, while Van der Burgh will be in action in the 50m and 100m breaststroke.

While the two Olympians have little or no serious competition in their respective events, up-and-coming youngsters will have the opportunity to stake a claim for the national squad.

Swimming SA (SSA) high-performance manager Dean Price said the championships would signal the start of preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

"We've got two major events – the World Swimming Championships in Barcelona (in July) and the Junior World Championships in Dubai (in August) – so this will be the qualifying opportunity for those events," Price said.

"We will be looking at performances from the juniors and the seniors to make the world championship teams."

Olympian Suzaan van Biljon, who finished seventh in the final of the women's 200m breaststroke at the London Games, will be one of the major draw cards among the women.

Price said there were great expectations of Van Biljon, Karin Prinsloo and Trudi Maree, who represented the country at last year's Games.

Van Biljon will be swimming the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke events while Prinsloo will hope to continue her domination in the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke.

"We've got the three women that went to the Olympics and in their respective events they should be strong," Price said.

"We've got the up-and-coming youngsters trying to make their mark and if they are on form then the [women's team] will be strong."

Roland Schoeman returns
Four-time Olympian Roland Schoeman makes a return from injury and will hope to produce the same form that saw him finish sixth in the final of the men's 50m freestyle at the London Games.

The 32-year-old, a three-time Olympic medallist, will go head-to-head with Leith Shankland and Le Clos, which could be one of the highlights of the championships.

Le Clos and Schoeman will again be involved in a tussle when they face off in the 50m butterfly event.

The men's 200m freestyle could see a great match-up between Le Clos and rising star Myles Brown, who has had a good season so far.

Brown will be the swimmer to beat in the distance events but he can expect a strong challenge from Mark Randall.

Former men's 50m backstroke world record holder Gerhard Zandberg will make his return to the pool, competing in the 50m and 100m backstroke events.

Price admitted that the team for the global championships would not necessarily be the strongest, but they would certainly be the youngest as the focus shifts to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"It is not going to be the biggest or the strongest we've taken but it will be the youngest," he said.

"It is the start of our 2016 road and we will have some really good swimmers coming up.

"We are looking at youngsters to make their mark so that we can give them the opportunity over the next three years to be contenders in 2016." – Sapa

Advertisting

My hardest story: Reporting on being queer in Tunisia

Reporting on queer issues is always tough. But Tunisia was something else

South Africa could use a communist party

The SACP is not building socialism, or even social democracy. Sadly, it has become just another party advancing the politics of patronage

Miners speak out against Sibanye

Not a year into buying Lonmin, Sibanye is accused of mistreating the mineworkers who were injured eight years ago during the Marikana massacre. But the platinum giant says it is a miscommunication. Athandiwe Saba and Paul Botes visit Marikana to find out the truth
Advertising

Press Releases

Request for expression of interest on analysis of quality and outcome indicators for regional and district hospitals in Lesotho

Introduction The Ministry of Health of Lesotho with the support of the World Bank funded Nutrition and Health Systems Strengthening...

MiX Telematics enhances in-vehicle video camera solution

The company has launched the gold MiX Vision Bureau Service, which includes driver-coaching tools to ensure risky driver behaviour can be addressed proactively and efficiently.

Boosting safety for cargo and drivers

The use of a telematics system for fleet vehicles has proved to be an important tool in helping to drive down costs and improve efficiency, says MiX Telematics Africa.

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

The changing role of marketing

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...