Athletes do well in Olympic qualifiers

 

THE SA National Aquatic Championships were successfully concluded tonight with 12 athletes making the Olympic A and 16 multi-disability swimmers clocking the Paralympic A Qualifying Times during the week-long competition which took part at the Kings Park Aquatic Centre in Durban.

Karin Prinsloo, Wendy Trott, Heerden Herman, Kevin Paul, Charl Bouwer, Craig Groenewald, Challis Wright, Yvonne Smith and Natalie du Toit entrenched their names firmly in the minds of the national selectors as they added their name to the list of Olympic A and Paralympic A level qualifying mark on the last evening of the SA National Aquatic Championships.

Prinsloo sped to a golden finish in the 200m backstroke with a phenomenal 2:10.76 ahead of Jessica Ashley-Cooper in 2:16.53 and Natasha van Niekerk in 2:16.97.

Finishing over ten seconds ahead of the pack, Trott scooped the gold in the 800m freestyle with an Olympic A Qualifying Time of 8:30.61. Jessica Pengelly and Michelle Weber came second and third in 8:41.40 and 8:44.10 respectively.

It  was a heart-stopping race to the end as Heerden Herman took the lead in the 1500m freestyle, winning in an Olympic A Qualifying Time of 15:07.99 ahead of Mark Randall in 15:27.38 and Myles Brown in 15:31.68.

With two World Records set earlier during the Championships, Paul continued his winning feat when he added a fourth Paralympic A Qualifying Time to his name in the SM10 200m individual medley in 2:17.96, while Bouwer bettered his heats time in the SM13 category in 2:14.50 to make it six Qualifying Times in one week.

In the S14 200m freestyle Craig Groenewald and Challis Wright cracked the Paralympic A Qualifying Times when they won the race in 2:04.79 and 2:09.20 respectively while Yvonne Smith was 20 seconds ahead of the Paralympic requirement when she clocked 2:21.08.

Paralympian  Natalie du Toit was once again in top form adding her sixth A Qualifying Time in the 200m individual medley in 2:37.30 while Renette Bloem (SM11) made her second time in 3:30.50.

Chad le Clos’s outstanding performances earned him his fourth gold medal of the Championship, three of which were raced with Olympic A Qualifying Times, when he touched the wall in 52.45 in the 100m butterfly. Dylan Bosch claimed the silver in 53.89 and Neil Watson the bronze in 54.43.

In the 50m breaststroke, Suzaan van Biljon took home the title, clocking 32.61 with Taryn Mackenzie (32.78) coming in second and Justine Macfarlane (33.29) third while on the men’s side, Warren Karsten was victorious in 29.10 ahead of Rory Buck (29.16) and Jared Pike (29.26).

Besides the senior athletes, a pool of raising talent participated in the competition, proving once again that the future of swimming in South Africa is indeed bright. 20 year-old Brad Tandy was close on the heels of Roland Schoeman in the 50m butterfly, settling for the silver in 22.35, while Schoeman grabbed the gold in 22.23 and Gideon Louw the bronze in 22.45.

Trudy Maree was over the moon with her gold medal in the 50m freestyle, clocking a fast 25.38 ahead of Lehesta Kemp in 26.17 and Karin Prinsloo in 26.26.

In the 50m butterfly events, Neil Watson (24.31) and Vanessa Mohr (26.53) took the honors while the silver medals went to Brett Walsh (24.75) and Marne Erasmus (27.69) and the bronze to Will Scheepers (24.78) and Jessica Ashley-Cooper (27.96).

Charl Crous collected his third gold medal when he won the 50m backstroke in 25.66. Ricky Ellis came second in 25.98 and Darren Murray third in 26.30.

Australia’s Sophie Edington showed great pace in the 50m backstroke, winning in 28.82 while Jessica Ashley-Cooper won the silver in 29.75 and Any Peens the bronze in 30.35.

During the week long competition, 17 Olympic A and 39 Paralympic A Qualifying Times were claimed by 12 and 16 athletes respectively.

The final Olympic and Paralympic team will be selected by SASCOC.

The staging of the SA National Aquatic Championships was made possible through the financial support of Telkom and the KwaZulu Natal Department of Sport and Recreation as well as support provided by Swimming SA partners, SASCOC, Sport and Recreation South Africa, National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Arena and Tsogo Sun.

The following athletes raced to A Qualifying Times for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games which will take place in London:

·         Chad le Clos – 400m individual medley – 4:13.86

·         Chad le Clos – 200m freestyle (SF) – 1:47.20

·         Chad le Clos – 200m butterfly – 1:56.17

·         Chad le Clos – 200m individual medley – 1:58.34

·         Suzaan van Biljon – 200m breaststroke – 2:26.74

·         Cameron van der Burgh – 100m breaststroke – 59.90

·         Riaan Schoeman – 400m individual medley – 4:15.60

·         Heerden Herman – 400m freestyle – 3:48.57

·         Heerden Herman – 1500m freestyle – 15:07.99

·         Kathryn Meaklim – 400m individual medley – 4:37.70

·         Kathryn Meaklim – 200m individual medley (SF) – 2:13.33

·         Charl Crous – 100m backstroke – 54.17

·         Gideon Louw – 100m freestyle (SF) – 48.74

·         Darian Townsend – 200m individual medley – 1:59.34

·         Wendy Trott – 800m freestyle – 8:30.61

·         Roland Schoeman – 50m freestyle (SF) – 22.08

·         Karin Prinsloo – 200m backstroke  – 2:10.76

 

SEMI-FINAL = SF

 

Total Paralympic A Qualifying Times:

 

·         Charl Bouwer (S13) – 100m backstroke – 59.78

·         Charl Bouwer (S13) – 400m freestyle – 4:13.93

·         Charl Bouwer (S13) – 50m freestyle – 24.38

·         Charl Bouwer (S13) – 100m freestyle – 52.89

·         Charl Bouwer (S13) – 100m butterfly – 58.78

·         Charl Bouwer (SM13) – 200m individual medley – 2:14.50

·         Hendri Herbst (S11) – 100m backstroke – 1:18.98

·         Hendri Herbst (S11) – 400m freestyle – 4:58.75

·         Hendri Herbst (S11) – 50m freestyle – 26.86

·         Hendri Herbst (S11) – 100m freestyle – 1:00.12

·         Achmad Hassiem (S10) – 100m butterfly – 58.79

·         Achmad Hassiem (S10) – 400m freestyle – 4:24.28

·         Shireen Sapiro (S10) – 100m backstroke – 1:10.70

·         Shireen Sapiro (S10) – 400m freestyle – 5:00.10

·         Natalie du Toit (S9) – 100m backstroke – 1:14.78

·         Natalie du Toit (SB8) – 100m breaststroke – 1:29.84

·         Natalie du Toit (S9) – 100m freestyle – 1:05.75

·         Natalie du Toit (S9) – 100m butterfly – 1:12.34

·         Natalie du Toit (S9) – 400m freestyle – 4:35.54

·         Natalie du Toit (SM9) – 200m individual medley – 2:37.30

·         Emily Gray (S10) – 100m backstroke – 1:16.88

·         Emily Gray (S10) – 400m freestyle – 5:01.77

·         Sharah-Joan Shannon (S3) – 100m freestyle – 2:58.02

·         Tadhg Slattery (SB5) – 100m breaststroke -1:40.70

·         Hendrik van der Merwe (SB5) – 100m breaststroke -1:43.84

·         Challis Wright (SB14) – 100m breaststroke – 1:16.02

·         Challis Wright (S14) – 200m freestyle – 2:09.20

·         Craig Groenewald (SB14) – 100m breaststroke – 1:14.80

·         Craig Groenewald (S14) – 200m freestyle – 2:05.78

·         Yvonne Smith (SB14) – 100m breaststroke – 1:32.43

·         Yvonne Smith (S14) – 200m freestyle – 2:24.24

·         Renette Bloem (SB11) – 100m breaststroke – 1:39.06

·         Renette Bloem (SM11) – 200m individual medley – 3:30.50

·         Marike Naude (SB13) – 100m breaststroke – 1:41.27

·         Kevin Paul (SB9) – 100m breaststroke – 1:05.94 (World Record)

·         Kevin Paul (S10) – 50m freestyle – 25.68

·         Kevin Paul (S10) – 100m freestyle – 55.58

·         Kevin Paul (SM10) – 200m individual medley – 2:17.96

·         Adri Visser (S5) – 50m butterfly – 57.59

 

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