THE Commonwealth Games qualification times poured in on Durban’s Kings Park Aquatics Centre as Cameron van der Burgh, Karin Prinsloo and Chad Le Clos shined bright during the third day of the SA National Aquatic Championships last night.
In the lead from the beginning to the end of the 100m breaststroke final, Van der Burgh was too good for the competition, touching the wall with a Commonwealth Games qualification time of 59.50, over two seconds ahead of Giulio Zorzi (1:02.31) and Marko Visser (1:02.64), who walked away with the silver and bronze.
Olympian Le Clos added the 200m backstroke to his list of Commonwealth Games events when he raced to the gold medal with a qualification time of 1:57.93, just under a second from the A standard time of 1:58.48. The silver medal was claimed by Darren Murray in 1:59.68 and the bronze by Christopher Reid in 2:00.58.
Prinsloo also celebrated her second and third qualification events for the Commonwealth Games, winning the gold in the 100m freestyle in a fast 54.48 and grabbed the 100m backstroke title in her final race of the evening in 1:00.81.
The semi-finals of the 100m freestyle saw Leith Shankland, Caydon Muller and Chad Le Clos fill out the top three spots in 50.23, 50.43 and 50.59, while the ladies’ 100m butterfly semi-finals was contested between Marne Erasmus, Vanessa Mohr and Rene Warnes in 59.72, 1:00.77 and 1:02.14 respectively.
The finals for both events will be held tomorrow, today (Thursday, April 10).
Franko Jonker made her way to the top of the podium in the 200m breaststroke with a time of 2:28.66, followed by Justine Macfarlane in 2:28.74 and Tatjana Schoenmaker in 2:29.18.
The 50m butterfly might not be an Olympic event but veteran Roland Schoeman was quick to show his skill when he posted the world’s fastest time this year in yesterday’s semi-finals, clocking 23.07.
Schoeman’s time in last night’s final was 23.11, winning him the gold ahead of Chad Le Clos (23.86) and Ryan Coetzee (24.28).
In the multi-disability section, Craig Groenewald was victorious in the S14-15 100m freestyle in 57.73, while Charl Bouwer took the gold in the S1-13 event in 53.21. Mark Roach was first in the S14-15 50m backstroke in 29.97 and James Bezuidenhout in the S1-13 with a time of 32.86.
On the ladies side, Yvonne Smith won the 100m freestyle and 50m backstroke S14-15 with a time of 1:06.11 and 37.39, while Emily Gray took the S1-13 events in 1:08.44 and 37.58, respectively.
Day four of the SA National Aquatic Championships and Commonwealth Games Trials will continue tomorrow with the heats starting at 9am while the finals begin at 6pm.
Commonwealth Games qualifying times following Day 03:
. Karin Prinsloo – 100 and 200m freestyle, 100m backstroke
. Myles Brown – 400m freestyle
. Chad Le Clos – 200m butterfly, 200m backstroke
. Dylan Bosch – 200m butterfly
. Cameron van der Burgh – 100m breaststroke