A Glimmer of Olympic Opportunity Arises on Day 5 in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS (SA OLYMPIC TRIALS)

Special thanks to Wayne Riddin for contributing to this report.

Women’s 100m Freestyle – PRELIMS

Karin Prinsloo opened prelims with a 56,47 dash in the 100m freestyle, well ahead of the expected chasing group of Marlies Ross (57,87), and Seychelles Felicity Passon (57,89) who had the advantaged of racing next to each other.

Tayla Lovemore swam well ahead of an earlier heat for her 58,01 while Lehesta Kemp (58,23), Emma Chelius (58,43), Erin Gallagher (58,51)and Jessica Ashley-Cooper (58,58) rounded out the top 8 qualifiers.

The Olympic Qualifying Time in the event is 54.43 – two seconds ahead of where Prinsloo’s prelims swim sat.

Men’s 200m Backstroke – PRELIMS

American-trained Christopher Reid, who is already qualified for Rio in the 100 back, neared another Olympic qualifying mark with a 1:58.65 – just .43 seconds short of the necessary 1:58,22.

“I will go for the time tonight. I was not really sure what to expect this morning so happy with the time,” Reid said of his early-morning effort. “If I make it tonight I will scratch the final and concentrate on the relay time trial to help the team.”

Martin Binedell looked comfortable as well in his 2:02,13 while Neil Fair is on 2:04,51 and Ruan Ras on 2:06,20 as the top four qualifiers.

Women’s 200m Breaststroke – PRELIMS

Another American-trained swimmer took a shot at Rio in the women’s 200 breaststroke, as Texas A&M’s Franko Jonker swam 2:28.87 – 1.9 seconds short of the Olympic standard. Jonker, who represented South Africa at the World University Games last year, took the first 100m out in 1:11,88 and looked in good enough form to have a realistic shot at the QT in finals. Coming in to Thursday’s events, South Africa still had no female Olympic qualifiers for Rio.

She will be center-pool with Tatjana Schoenmaker, who took the top seed, going out in 1:10,86 but ending a fraction short in 2:27,84. This is one of South Africa’s deeper events, with Taryn MacKenzie (2:33,25), Kaylene Corbett (2:35,49), Marlies Ross (2:35,60) and Tara Nicholas (2:35,64) all in the mix in finals. Two qualifiers here would certainly boost the women’s swimming from a South African point of view.

Men’s 200m IM – PRELIMS

There was not much competition to push through the semi-final of the men’s 200 IM, and that showed in the results. Eben Vorster in 2:04,40 and Neil Fair on 2:05,79. Michael Meyer (2:07,66), Sebastien Rousseau (2:08,21), Jarryd Baxter (2:08,24) and Dylan Bosch (2:08,47) should speed things up in the semi-finals – Meyer has been 2:01, and both Rousseau and Bosch have been 1:59 in their careers.

Para-Prelims

The Paralympic swimmers competed in the 50m backstroke and 100m freestyle events this morning. Beth Nothling earned her QT in the S5 category in the 50 backstroke, clocking 54,47.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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