2015 South African National Championships
- LC Meters selection meet for 2015 World Championships
- Monday, April 13th – Saturday, April 18th
- King’s Park Centre, Durban
- Live meet results available here.
The 2015 South African National Championships began today at the Aquatic Kings Park Center with morning prelims, followed by evening semi-finals and finals. This evening’s action included swims by some of South Africa’s biggest names, with more on the way as the meet progresses.
The first finals event kicked off with a national record, as 22-year-old Myles Brown set a new 400m freestyle mark of 3:46.08 to win first place by over 8 seconds. Brown’s new time took over that of Ryk Neethling’s 3:46.31 set all the way back in 1999 at that year’s Pan Pacific Championships. Brown’s performance tonight now places him in the world’s top ten, sliding into the 6th-fastest time of the world so far this year. This time also clears the FINA Worlds-qualifying mark of 3:50.87. On his race, Brown tells Swimming South Africa that “I managed to break Ryk’s record which I am very happy about but the plan was basically to get onto the team. I didn’t really have the record in mind – I just tried to be faster than in the morning.”
The women’s version of the 400m freestyle race experienced the same leader separation, as winner Karin Prinsloo clocked a swift 4:12.55. That time was fast enough to win the event by over 5 seconds, but is well off of Prinsloo’s South African record of 4:07.92. Prinsloo’s time also falls painstakingly short of the FINA A cut; she is just 8/100 outside the 4:12.47 qualifying standard. Coming in second place in the event was 17-year-old Marlies Ross in 4:18.06, followed by Caitlin Kat who registered 4:19.05 for third.
The women and men also contested the 4 x 100m freestyle relay, with Western Province Aquatics taking the women’s race in 3:53.90 and the KwaZulu Natal club swimming away with the victory for the men in a time of 3:22.34.
Several multi-class race finals took place in the PM session as well. 17-year-old Mark Roach took the S14 – S15 multi-class 100 backstroke in a time of 1:07.62, while Hendri Herbst won the S1-S13 multi-class version of the same discipline and distance, earning a gold in 1:14.53. For the women’s edition of the S14-S15 multi-class race, it was Christelle Kriel with the victory in 1:19.64, while the S1-S13 multi-class win went to Emily Grant in 1:17.17.
- Women’s 100m butterfly – Vanessa Mohr leads the field out of semi’s with the fastest time of 1:00.98, signaling swimmers are saving their 1:00-threshold-busting swims for tomorrow’s finals.
- Women’s 200 IM – Six out of the eight women going into the final are teenagers, with an overall age gap of ten years among all of the competitors. Marlies Ross leads the way with 2:15.71 for the top seed, but she is followed closely by the elder of the pack, Rene Warnes, who, at 23-years old clocked a 2:17.89 for the second seed. The youngest racer is 13-year-old Hanim Abrahams who sneaked into the final with her semi time of 2:24.77.
- Men’s 50m butterfly – As is always the case with the pure sprint events, the finish came down to the wire in tonight’s semi-finals, with veteran Roland Schoeman tying George Du Rand with 24.23 for first place, followed by Michael Andrew who touched just 6/100 behind in 24.29 for the third seed going into finals.
- Women’s 50m freestyle – Trudi Maree leads the field with her semi time of 26.33, followed by 16-year-old Erin Gallagher right behind in 26.48. Vanessa Mohr made her second final, finishing in 6th in this event with a time of 26.92.
- Men’s 100m breaststroke – It is certainly Cameron van der Burgh’s to lose; he took the top time out of semi’s in an easy-speed time of 1:00.30, just under 2 seconds faster than the rest of the field and also under the FINA A cut of 1:00.44. This makes World Championships team number five for the Olympic gold medalist.