SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS (SA OLYMPIC TRIALS)
- King Aquatic Park, Durban, South Africa
- Sunday, April 10th – Saturday, April 16th
- Prelims- 10:00 am local (4 am ET, 1 am PT), Finals- 6:30 pm local (12:30 pm ET, 9:30 am PT)
- Meet Announcement and Olympic Qualifying Times
- Live Results
Wayne Riddin contributed this report:
Olympians Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh were again in the mix of fortunes to lift an otherwise disappointing penultimate evening of finals at the South African Swimming Championships at the Kings Park pool in Durban this evening.
Together with Chris Reid and Calvyn Justus, the crowd reached a higher gear as the South African men’s 4 x 100m medley relay team took to the water in an attempt to qualify for the Olympic Games. This happened after some near misses from the semifinals of the men’s 50m freestyle and the women’s 200m breaststroke that got the evening off to a gloomy start.
Men’s 50 Free- Semifinals
- Brad Tandy: 22.28
- Douglas Erasmus: 22.40
- Roland Schoeman: 22.69
- Brett Walsh, Reynard Wessels: 22.98
- Zane Waddell: 23.04
- Armand Maritz: 23.23
- Simon Pheasant: 23.37
The men’s 50m freestyle semifinals failed to produce another Olympic QT as Douglas Erasmus started the charge with a 22,40 in the first semi. He was chased home by Reynard Wessels in 22,98 before the second semi featuring the seasoned Roland Schoeman up against Brad Tandy. It was not to be, as the pressure perhaps got the better of the sprinters, with Tandy racing to a 22,28 and Schoeman on 22,69. Brett Walsh ended on 22,98 to share the fourth place with Wessels and the only men under 23 seconds.
Women’s 200 Breast- Finals
- Tatjana Schoenmaker: 2:26.95
- Kaylene Corbett: 2:30.18
- Franko Jonker: 2:31.29
Tatjana Schoenmaker dominated the women’s 200 breast but missed the Olympic mark by the slimmest of margins, swimming the event in 2:26,95 to miss the qualifying time of 2:26,94. She took it out on a 1:11,52 and certainly looked a little easier than the semifinal, but by the end of the race, the disappointment in the air was evident.
Kaylene Corbett was chasing her with Franko Joncker trailing off the pace. Corbett did well to take the silver in 2:30,18 while Joncker was also disappointing in her 2:31,29 after posting 2:28’s in the first two swims.
Men’s 4 x 100 Medley Relay Time Trial
What an amazing performance from the four Olympic hopefuls as it brought the crowd to their feet, with the South African team finishing in 3:33.80, well under the required 3:34.70. Christopher Reid opted out the men’s 200m backstroke to lead off this relay with a 53,52 before Cameron van der Burgh took over in the breaststroke to split an encouraging 58,95 and handed over to Chad le Clos for the butterfly leg. Le Clos kept the pace going with a quick 51,59 to hand over to the younger Calvyn Justus in the freestyle – the man who won last night only to find out he had to fill this berth. Justus served his place on the anchor 49,74.
Men’s 200 Back- Finals
- Martin Binedell: 2:01.35
- Neil Fair: 2:02.40
- Ricky Ellis: 2:02.72
Without Chris Read in the field it was left up to Martin Binedell to race Neil Fair and Ricky Ellis, all three turning close to 59 seconds before the stronger-finishing Binedell left his challengers behind to win in 2:01,35. The race for second went to Fair on 2:02,40 with the veteran Ellis third in 2:02,72.
Women’s 200 Back- Semifinals
- Nathania van Niekerk: 2:11.53
- Mariella Venter: 2:13.36
- Samantha Ranle: 2:17.71
- Jessica Beukes: 2:19.78
- Catherine Sainsbury: 2:19.91
- Gabi Grobler: 2:20.21
- Honey Osrin: 2:20.50
- Kristen Straszacker: 2:21.47
Mariella Venter started off the first semi-final in an easy looking 2:13 without anyone to push her, while Nathania van Niekerk seemed set to see how close she could get to the 2:10,60 Olympic mark. Van Niekerk was out in 1:04 and returned in an encouraging 2:11,53 – the final with these two will be the last bit of hope for the South African women to clock up individual qualifying times. Perhaps on the last day something good can come out for the ladies.
Men’s 200 IM- Finals
- Dylan Bosch: 2:01.24
- Michael Meyer: 2:01.69
- Jarryd Baxter: 2:03.21
Dylan Bosch and Michael Meyer made a great effort to chase the Olympic time in the 200m IM, but both missed the mark, with Bosch going 2:01,24 and Meyer finishing second in 2:01,69. During the backstroke leg a bank of lights went out, but Bosch “did not feel it affected him.” The youngest man in the field, Jarryd Baxter (17) finished third in a deserving 2:03,21.
Women’s 100 Free- Finals
- Karin Prinsloo: 56.12
- Erin Gallagher: 56.31
- Tayla Lovemore: 56.98
A determined Erin Gallagher took the race to her opposition in the 100m freestyle as she raced out on 26,38 but found it tough going on the way home as Karin Prinsloo managed to finish stronger and take the victory in 56,12 to her 56,31. Tayla Lovemore improved further to take the bronze in a personal best 56,98.
Men’s 100 Fly- Semifinals
- Chad le Clos: 51.91
- Ryan Coetzee: 53.44
- Dylan Bosch: 54.04
- Nico Meyer: 54.13
- Alard Basson: 54.56
- Brett Walsh: 54.64
- Giulio Zorzi: 54.97
- Eben Vorster: 55.03
It was again the versatile Dylan Bosch who set the pace in the first semi-final shortly after his 200m IM victory. Bosch surged near the end to clock 54,04. However, it was the semi-final to follow that featured Olympic star Chad Le Clos – and he never seems to disappoint, with yet another QT and racing to a 51,91 despite his earlier effort in the relay time trial. Ryan Coetzee ended marginally faster next to Le Clos in 53,44 to take the second spot for the final.
Paralympic swimmer Adri Visser (S5) was slightly off her morning heat time but still posted a QT of 52,02 in the 50m butterfly while Hendri Herbst (S11) also was off his morning time but a 27,24 for the 50m freestyle still way under the QT.