We reported on March 20th that Swimming South Africa‘s National Championships, which serves as its Olympic Trials meet, was indeed postponed. The event was slated to run April 4th – April 9th in Durban but was put on hold due to the rapidly unfolding coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak worldwide.
Swimming South Africa has revealed the new dates for its National Championships, with the Olympic qualifier now taking place June 21st – June 26th, still in Durban. Its National Junior Age Group Championships have also been rescheduled, with revised dates now stated as June 27th – July 1st.
Swimming South Africa states that its Extraordinary SSA Executive Committee met on March 21st and reviewed and considered feedback and recommendations from the various SSA Technical Committees, Senior Coaches and Public Health Specialists to come to this decision.
Along with the new meet dates, SSA states, “With immediate effect, all activities related to coaching and teaching of aquatic activities, including Learn to Swim, under the jurisdiction of SSA must cease.
“Noting the rapidly developing situation the SSA Executive Committee will review coaching and teaching activities on 16 April 2020.”
The statement further reads, “SSA will engage with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) with regard to preparation for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and will revise selection criteria for the Games accordingly.
In our original SA National Championships postponement post, we reported how the shift in the nation’s Olympic Trials may open the door for currently-banned Olympian Roland Schoeman.
He is prevented from competing until May 17th after a positive doping test. That would have excluded him from the South African Nationals, as they were scheduled for the aforementioned April dates. With the new June dates, Schoeman may indeed be able to now compete for an Olympic spot, although he’d only have been in the water for about a month if he’s deemed eligible to compete.