Chad Le Clos Tweaks Back, Still Expected To Race At South African World Trials


  • Thursday, December 14th – Monday, December 18th
  • Kings Park Pool, Durban South Africa
  • LCM (50m)

The 2023 South African World Championship Trials kick off tomorrow from Kings Park Pool in Durban. The competition also represents a selection event for the 2024 African Games headed to Ghana in March. Although we’re awaiting the official entries, we know that several of the nation’s biggest stars are set to dive in over the course of the 5-day affair.

Among the racers headed to Durban is Olympic champion Tatjana Schoenmaker, fresh off having gotten married last month.

26-year-old Schoenmaker is expected to race the trio of 50m/100m/200m in her breaststroke specialty but she’s also set to take on the 200m and 400m free events.

The national record holder is coming off a successful World Championships where she scored silver in the 100m breast and and gold in the 200m.

Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Kaylene Corbett will be joining Schoenmaker in the breaststroke events this week, while Erin Gallagher and Emma Chelius will highlight the freestyle and butterfly sprint races.

As for the men, Swimming South Africa confirmed that 31-year-old Olympic champion Chad Le Clos intends on racing this week, despite having tweaked his back recently.

The Germany-based swimmer is expected to contest the 50m/100m/200m fly events in addition to the 50m and 100m freestyle, but may pare this schedule down due to the minor injury.

Per Swimming South Africa, Le Clos said of his competing this week, “This is more of a seeing-where-we-are kind of thing. It’s not necessarily the be-all and end-all for me. I’m just excited to be back racing in South Africa.

“Worlds is going to be a big one for me. I’m going to be looking to getting to the final and challenging for medals and then the Olympics would be the main step for me.”

We don’t know if 43-year-old Roland Schoeman will be competing this week and, therefore, if he’s pursuing Doha qualification. He was originally entered in the Queensland Championships which are nearing their conclusion but he was absent, so that could be an indication he’s racing in Durban instead.

Looking forward to how the athletes perform this week, high performance manager Dean Price stated, “The big picture is to get as many people as we can to Paris. “We want to make sure everyone gets the opportunity to prepare properly and perform at their best.

“Hopefully at the end of it all, we’ll have a great team, including relay teams, and one or two swimmers who can get medals. We have to make sure we tick all the right boxes and get our swimmers to the right places.”

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SwimSwam Commenter
3 months ago

I wonder if Schoeman is not allowed to participate given his historical doping issues…

Reply to  SwimSwam Commenter
3 months ago

While laws vary from nation to nation, once you serve out your mandated doping bans, in most of the world, you’re back in.

Notable data point: he competed in last year’s South African National Championships.

So yes. He’s definitely allowed to participate.

Brad wood
4 months ago

When is this guy running out of excuses

Lews Therin
4 months ago

Eager to see how team RSA is shaping up for Paris 2024. Probably, Chad’s final showing at Olympics in 2024. It would be awesome if Roland can make the champs team and then qualify for the games later next year.

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Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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