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 first finals event of Day 3 of the South African National Championships’ started off with a notable upset between training partners. 22-year-old Myles Brown, who broke the South African national record with his 400m freestyle win earlier in the meet, rocketed his way to the wall first in the men’s 200m freestyle contest in front of Olympian Chad Le Clos. Le Clos led after the first 100, but Brown threw it down on the way home to nail the win in a Kazan-qualifyng time of 1:47.44. Le Clos wound up second in the essentially two-man race, clocking a time of 1:47.89, which is also inside the Kazan cut. After the race, Brown told his federation that “It’s always nice to get a win and although it’s not a great time for world rankings I really wanted to get the qualifying time tonight. Chad is really a tough competitor to beat. I am really happy with the win tonight. I will see how fit I am to do the 800m free tomorrow, but I am excited to race the 4X100m relay as well.”
In the first women’s individual event of the evening session, Mariella Venter, at just 15-years-old, earned the national title in the 100m backstroke race. Her time of 1:02.03 was swift enough to earn the victory after being seeded second out of semis leading up to this event. 16-year-old Nathania Van Niekerk also moved up from semis to finals to finish as runner-up, clocking a time of 1:02.72, while Jessica Ashley-Cooper rounded out the top three in a time of 1:03.09.
The women’s 1500m freestyle race saw KwaZulu Natal’s Michelle Weber swim away with the gold medal in a time of 16:54.90, crushing her previous personal best of 17:11.95 from 2011. Weber’s teammate Tracy-Lea Meyer finished just under two seconds behind in a time of 16:56.81, which represents the first instance the 14-year-old has dipped beneath the 17-minute threshold. As fast as these girls were, they were well above the FINA A-qualifying mark of 16:33.61.
It was a mad rush to get a hand on the wall first in the men’s 100m backstroke event, as the top three finishers registered times within .16 of each other. Ricky Ellis led the way with a winning time of 55.61, due to his swift back-half speed. Ellis was third at the halfway point of the race, but turned it on to bring it home in 28.77, touching out second-place finisher Neil De Villiers by under a tenth. De Villiers’ final time was 55.70, followed closely by 31-year-old Gerhard Zandberg who earned thrid with a time of 55.77.
Northern Tigers Swimming Club’s Tatjana Schoenmaker was tonight’s winner in the 100m breaststroke event, shaving half a second off her prelims time to top the field in a speedy 1:08.85. She was the only swimmer to dip beneath 1:09, as runner-up Tara Nicholas and Franko Jonker placed second and third, with times of 1:09.04 and 1:09.98, respectively.
The night’s session ended with the mixed 4 x 100 freestyle relay from Northern Tigers Swimming winning the event in a time of 3:37.17.
- Men’s 50m breaststroke – Cameron van der Burgh continues on his quest for domination in this discipline, leading his countrymen as the top seed out of semis with a time of 27.21. Van der Burgh now owns the world’s third and fifth-fastest times of 2015, having already clocked a 27.17 in Eindhoven earlier this month.
- Women’s 50m breaststroke – The top three women tonight were all in the 32-range, with Tara Nichols as the fastest seed in 32.01, followed by Tatjana Schoenmaker (32.43) and Franko Jonker (32.58).
- Women’s 200m freestyle – Karin Prinsloo was the only sub-2-minute swimmer, clocking a time of 1:59.32 for the #1 seed headed into tomorrow’s finals. Prinsloo will need to drop just under half a second to clear the FINA A-qualifying time of 1:58.93.
- Men’s 200m butterfly – Sebastien Rousseau has been this event’s leader through prelims and now semis, as he threw down a mega back-half to earn the number one seed in a time of 1:56.40 over Chad Le Clos, who sits second in 1:57.39. Rousseau’s time is just about a second faster than the FINA-qualifying standard of 1:57.37, while Le Clos needs to drop just 2/100 to clear the mark.