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.
Myles Brown continued his absolute destruction of the freestyle events on Day 5 of the South African National Championships/World Trials. Before tonight, Brown had already stood atop the podium in the 400m freestyle, 200m freestyle and 800m freestyle events, but today Brown added the 100m distance to his collection of gold medals from this competition.
Brown was the only swimmer to go sub-50 in the race, clocking a 49.95 for the win. His 19-year-old KwaZulu Natal teammate, Clayton Jimmie, was the next fastest competitor, who cleaned up second place in a time of 50.45, followed by another 19-year-old Caydon Muller from Northern Tigers Swimming who touched in 50.66 for 3rd place. Brown’s time tonight of 49.95 falls narrowly outside of the FINA Worlds qualifying standard of 49.39, but his victory certainly exposes the range of gears this South African swimming is capable of across several distances.
Notably, the women’s 50m backstroke winner, Mariella Venter, is just 15-years of age, but the Central Gauteng Aquatics’ swimmer nailed down the winning time of 29.08 to swim away with the gold medal. She and Western Province Aquatics’ athlete Jessica Ashley-Cooper, were the only 2 sub-30-second swimmers, as Cooper got her hand on the wall in 29.38 for 2nd place tonight.
The men’s edition of the 50m backstroke contest saw the opposite end of the age spectrum, as 31-year-old Gerhard Zandberg raced his way to a win in a time of 25.39, to sit just outside the world’s top 20, but within the FINA A cut. Zandberg can add this gold to his collection from the meet, having already earned 3rd in the 100 back and was part of Northern Tigers’ winning 4x50m freestyle relay. Also in the 50m backstroke tonight, Ricky Ellis wound up in second place in 25.86, while American Michael Andrew clocked a personal best of 26.04 to round out the top 3.
The women’s 200m butterfly saw Rene Warnes step up and take the event in a solid time of 2:14.49, about 2/10 faster than her semi’s swim. This is Warnes’ first individual win after already racking up a 3rd place finish as part of her club’s 4×100 free relay, while also having finished in 4th in the 100m butterfly and 3rd in the 200m IM. Warnes is slated to next swim the 400m IM event.
Michelle Weber surged to the top of the field in the women’s 800m freestyle, winning the distance race in a time of 8:53.35. Weber narrowly touched out second place swimmer Caitlin Kat, who settled for runner-up in a time of 8:53.88, knocking about 10 seconds off of her prelims time.
After laying low during his prelims and semi swims, Chad Le Clos cranked out a 1:58.97 200m IM final to position him as 12th-fastest in the world as of today. Le Clos’ time also cleared the FINA qualifying standard, so he punched his ticket yet again for a full program in Kazan.
The women’s 200m backstroke event saw 16-year-old Nathania Van Niekerk painstakingly close to the FINA Worlds qualifying standard. Van Niekerk touched in 2:12.95 for the national title, but she needed 2:12.14 to clear the A cut. Van Niekerk was the runner-up finisher in the 100m back earlier in the meet.
To conclude tonight’s finals session, the Western Province Aquatics women’s squad won the 200m free relay in a time of 1:46.21, while the Northern Tigers put away the win for the men in 1:30.97.
- Men’s 100m butterfly – Chad Le Clos dropped a 53.22 in the semis, but certainly is not showing all his cards just yet. Knowing USA’s Michael Phelps is back on the 100m fly scene may fuel Le Clos’ fire come finals time in this event.
- Men’s 200m breaststroke – Cameron van der Burgh rocked a 2:11.37 in the semi’s for the top seed, touching inside of the FINA qualifying mark.
- Women’s 200m breaststroke – Tatjana Schoenmaker charged to the head of the field in 2:30.42. Schoenmaker is looking to add this title to her 100m breaststroke win she scored earlier in the meet.
- Men’s 200m backstroke – No men have gone sub-2:00 as of yet, but that is what it would take to qualify for Kazan in this event, so look for top-seeded Martin Binedell to bust a few seconds off of his semi time of 2:01.68.
- Women’s 100m freestyle – KwaZulu Natal swimmer Erin Gallagher set herself up to sweep the sprint freestyle events, having already won the 50m freestyle. She sits as the top seed in the women’s 100m going into the finals, clocking a 56.94 this morning.
- Women’s 50m butterfly – Vanessa Mohr is inching closer and closer to the Kazan qualifying mark of 26.54 in this event, having registered a 27.10 in the morning’s semis. She is seeded in the middle of the pool for the final and will need to shave off at least half of a second to clear that cut.
- Men’s 50m freestyle – Roland Schoeman blasted his famous man-speed to nab the top seed in the splash n’ dash semis. His time of 22.36 was the first of 3 in the field to dip beneath the 23.0-threshold. Douglas Erasmus sits 2nd in 22.80 and Shaun Harris qualified 3rd with his time of 22.98.