Young South African Team Ready for BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series

by SwimSwam Staff 0

January 15th, 2013 International, News

Swimming South Africa is hoping that the team they are sending to compete in the BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series is comprised of the country’s next generation international stars.

With Cameron van der Burgh, Chad le Clos and Roland Schoeman all sidelined with injures the South African team taking part in the BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series is void of star power, but will have an abundance of youthful enthusiasm.

Swimming South Africa sees the competition as the ideal opportunity to groom their upcoming swimmers to continue the tradition of success they have experienced at the international level, “We have a proud history of producing Olympic champions and if we are to continue that tradition we need to make sure that we are swimming and competing against the very best. China and Australia are among the powerhouses of international aquatics so it doesn’t get much more demanding for this team,” said Shaun Adriaanse, the CEO of Swimming South Africa

“We set very high standards for our swimmers and we are confident in the ability of this team to help us remain a force to be reckoned with in international competition.”

In Olympic competition since 1996 the South Africans have collected 5 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze.

“We did analyses of the performances in London (Olympic Games), and we looked at the age categories of those swimmers that were winning medals,” Dean Price, High Performance Manager of Swimming South Africa, told SuperSport.

“In the women’s section the majority of the medals were won in the ages 15 to 18 years, so they were relatively young, and the men were aged 20 to 24. So we are trying to identify swimmers in those age groups for Rio 2016, so that they will be in the prime of their swimming career.”

The South African team that will be competing in Perth has an average of age 17 for the females and 22 for the males, with the youngest swimmer being 13 year old Nathania van Niekerk.

Although this team is young and the focus is on their development National Team Head Coach Graham Hill expects them to perform well in the competition,“It’s a very young and inexperienced team that we are sending but it will be an ideal opportunity for them to learn against the best swimmers in the world.”

“We still expect them to stand up and deliver.”

The South African Team will consist of:

WOMEN: Jessica Ashley-Cooper, Marne Erasmus, Kelly Gunnel, Lehesta Kemp, Trudi Maree, Tara-Lynn Nicholas, Jessica Pengelly, Kyna Pereira, Marlies Ross, Suzaan Van Biljon, Nathania Van Niekerk, Rene Warnes, Michelle Weber, Rita Naude

MEN: Alaric Basson, Bryon Doyle, Calvyn Justus, Charl Crous, Darren Murray, Leith Shankland, Aryton Sweeney, Garth Tune, Jan Petrus Van Der Merwe, Giulio Zorzi, Christopher Reid, Myles Brown, Charl Crous, Jarred Crous

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