SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS (SA OLYMPIC TRIALS)
- King Aquatic Park, Durban, South Africa
- Sunday, April 10th – Saturday, April 16th
- Prelims- 10:00 am local (4 am ET, 1 am PT), Finals- 6:30 pm local (12:30 pm ET, 9:30 am PT)
- Meet Announcement and Olympic Qualifying Times
- Live Results
Wayne Riddin contributed this report:
Olympic gold medallists Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh were again the men to add enough spark to the crowd on the fourth day of the ‘finals’ at the South African Championships in Durban this evening.
But it was also Alani Ferreira who kept the Paralympic times rolling with her fourth qualifier, this one coming in the S13 100m butterfly after Achmat Hassiem (S10) made the QT in the morning heats and then just missed it in the evening.
Men’s 100m Freestyle Semi-Finals
Middle-distance man Myles Brown managed to chase down Brad Tandy to win the first semifinal by just 0,06sec in 50,44, with Ryan Coetzee on 50,63 and Zane Waddell on 50,83. While that time for Brown was the fastest in his heat, the second heat held most of the power and had the top 4 qualifiers into the final.
The top qualifier from the morning, Douglas Erasmus took to the water for the second semi, and was out 0,22sec slower than the morning and ended 0,31sec slower in in 49,85, The pressure in that heat came from Caydon Muller who was the only other swimmer under 50 seconds with a 49,90 – but that 48,99 Olympic mark a distance away.
Teammates Calvyn Justus (50,19) and Clayton Jimmie (50,26) completed the top four seeds for tomorrow night’s final.
Women’s 200m Freestyle Final
It was a real disappointment for Karin Prinsloo, who raced out on her own in the 200m freestyle chasing 1:58,96 – and perhaps if there had been someone to work with she would have gone faster than the 1:59,86 end result. Prinsloo was in tears afterwards putting everything into one race but the Olympic qualifying standard was not to be, as the South Africans remained without a female to the credit of their Olympic Team with the meet two-thirds completed.
Prinsloo’s splits were 27,98/30,49/31,06/30,33 to the ultimate 1:59.86.
The race for the silver was won by Kristin Bellingan in 2:04,13 ahead of 400m freestyle winner Caitlin Kat on 2:04,40.
Men’s 200m Butterfly Final
Olympic gold medallist Chad Le Clos gave the evening the boost it needed with another highlight performance in his favourite event.
Le Clos set the pace out on 54,79 and held his dominant lead to clock 1:55,04 at the final touch. That pushes him up to 4th in the current World Rankings, with the three swimmers in front of him being all japanese and having a much more competitive selection challenge than le Clos does.
Sebastien Rousseau was on the verge of adding this 200 fly to his earlier selection in the 400 IM, but he ended just 0,41sec short in 1:57,38, with Dylan Bosch finding better form at the finish to take the bronze in 1:58,18.
Women’s 200m Butterfly Semi-Finals
Rene Warnes raced out on her own once again to end over eight seconds ahead of her nearest rival in the first semi-final. Warnes set a 2:13,85 with Marli Jacobs next on 2:22,13. The race for third looks set between Tarryn Els (2:23,18), Sule van der Merwe (2:23,24) and Monica Boje (2:23,38).
Men’s 200m Breaststroke Semi-Finals
Cameron van der Burgh set his sights on the 200m distance to test his fitness and the “crowd definitely got me going as I heard them out there so I knew I must be close to the qualifying time.”
A qualifying time is exactly what he got, as he went out in 1:03,13 and returned to clock “a personal best time,” touching in 2:11,10 to better the Olympic time of 2:11,66.
Jarred Crous held with van der Burgh on the first 100 in 1:03,,47 and with a push that he lacked in prelims, Crous swam 2:12,47 – a two-and-a-half second improvement on his prelims time.
Ayrton Sweeney is the third seed and his 2:13,38 gives this final added competition to possible see two qualifiers in the final.
Women’s 200m IM Final
Marlies Ross was never on pace to achieve the Olympic Qualifying Time in the women’s 200 IM. She wound up 1,30sec off her semi-final time with a 2:17,47 and missed the qualifying time by a wide margin. Gabi Grobler chased her all the way to take the runners-up berth in an encouraging time of 2:19,05 while Kirsty Mc Laughlan was also slightly slower for her third placed time of 2:20,38.
The Paralympic swimmers continued to post qualifying times with Alani Ferreira coming out on top for her fourth QT in the S13 category in the 100m butterfly, touching in 1:23,37. In the morning heats, Achmat Hassiem clocked a 1:00,44 in the S10 category to qualify but then was just outside the 1:00,47 mark in the evening final with a 1:00,59.