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Medal hunt continues

Double Fina World Championships swimming medallist Cameron van der Burgh is back in the pool and in the hunt for more medals this weekend.

Van der Burgh will be joined by Roland Schoeman, George du Rand, Lyndon Ferns and several other SA swim stars at the Telkom SA Short Course Championships in in Pietermaritzburg from August 7-10.

The swimming aces now have to adapt from Rome’s 50 metre pool to the 25m JC Jollife pool. At stake will┬á be qualifying times for the FINA/Arena World Cup in Durban later this year.

Van der Burgh is in awesome form following his world record and gold medal in the 50m breaststroke in Rome, plus having secured a bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke and could come close to bettering his world 50m mark of 25.94 seconds and his 100m breaststroke world best of 56.88.

ÔÇ£Almost all of the SA swim team members produced career-best performances in Rome, and it is easier to carry through from the long course 50 metres swimming pool to the 25 metres short course event, than the other way round, so I am expecting world, African and SA records to fall regularly at the Telkom SA Short Course Championships,ÔÇØ said Van der Burgh.

Neil Versfeld, who will line up in the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke said: ÔÇ£Short course swimming is all about the turns and underwater movements. I am happy with my form and am looking forward to swimming at my first short course event in four years. I hope to qualify to take part in the FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup leg in Durban later this year and then hopefully compete in a few of the other World Cup legs on the other continents, but the Telkom SA Short Course Championships will produce records galore.ÔÇØ

At last year’s Telkom SA Short Course Championships held in Germiston, Roland Schoeman set a world record of 20.64sec in the 50 metres freestyle, which has subsequently been bettered to 20.48 by Frenchman Amaury Leveaux ÔÇô whose effort awaits ratification by world body FINA.

Add in young KwaZulu talent like medley stars Riaan Schoeman and Chad le Clos, plus backstroke sensation Charl van Zyl, and the all-star cast of SA swimming are ready to turn on the speed and excitement.

With backstroke star Du Rand having had a superb week of swimming at the FINA World Championships in Rome and Ferns likely to be geared up for speed in the butterfly and freestyle events, the men are ready to shine.

Girl power will also be on display, with Natalie du Toit expected to line up for the 1,500m discipline while three-time Olympian Mandy

Loots returns to the swimming pool in the butterfly and 100 and 200 metres individual medley races.

The heats sessions begin daily from 9.30am, with the evening’s finals starting at 4pm, except for the final day’s session which starts at 2pm.