For a meet that began on Monday, it took until Friday morning for the South Africans to come up with their first official World Championship qualifier, as the 2013 South African National Championships rolled into its new schedule. The meet will now see timed finals events swum in both the morning and evening sessions.
On Friday morning, Olympic superstar and champion Chad le Clos in his best event, the event in which he knocked off Michael Phelps in London, he swam a 1:56.35 to cruise to victory and a FINA Automatic Qualifying Time. That pushes him to the third-fastest time in the world in 2013, and the fastest from outside of the Asian continent. Michael Meyer, part of the large group of South Africans training in the US at the University of Arizona, was 2nd in 1:59.24.
In other finals from the morning session, Myles Brown hit the FINA A standard in the men’s 800 free in 7:58.64. Though as a non-Olympic event the South Africans will not consider it for World Championships, it’s a good indicator that Brown is getting faster as the distances are getting longer, meaning that he could finally book his ticket in the 1500 free later in the meet.
On the women’s side of the meet, the day was highlighted by a pair of wins from Karin Prinsloo. First, she took the 100 backstroke in 1:02.82, which was far from her best time. She later added a win in the 200 freestyle in 1:59.60, which once again missed her best time and the World Championship qualifying mark, meaning the South Africans will still be sitting at just a single qualifier headed into the Friday evening session (though, comments by South African officials leave little doubt that Cameron van der Burgh will be selected despite leaving the meet early and missing the 100 breast final.)
Further reports will be available after the evening session.