The medal hunt for the South African swimming team will start on Wednesday when the Fina World Short-Course Championship starts in Dubai.
Triple world champion, Cameron van der Burgh, will have an interesting race in the 50m breaststroke when he squares up with veteran, Roland Schoeman. Schoeman, who finished third overall in the recent Fina/Arena Swimming World Cup Series, is currently ranked first in the world and Van der Burgh second. The dual for gold will be a tough one between the two South Africans.
Van der Burgh, who took some time off after the Commonwealth Games where he won gold in the 50 and 100m breaststroke, said it was a hard year with two big events so close together.
Chad le Clos, the young star in the team who also won two gold medals (200m butterfly and 400m individual medley) at the Commonwealth Games just finished his matric and is hoping the results will be as good as his year in the pool. Le Clos will be competing in the 200 and 400m freestyle, 200m butterfly and the 200 and 400m individual medley races.
On the women’s side, Leone Vorster will be participating in her first World Championships after qualifying for the event at the Telkom SA Short Course Championships which took place in Pietermaritzburg earlier this year.
Vorster, who claimed 4 golds and a silver medal at the recent Senior African Championships in Morocco, will be joined by Chanelle van Wyk, Mandy Loots, Kathryn Meaklim and Jessica Pengelly who will also be vying for fast times.
The strong team of 14 swimmers travelled to Dubai on Saturday.
The South African team:
Men: William Diering (100, 200 breaststroke), Heerden Herman (400, 1500 freestyle), Chad le Clos (200, 400 freestyle, 200 butterfly, 200, 400 individual medley), Roland Schoeman (50 freestyle, 50 breaststroke, 50 butterfly) Garth Tune (50, 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly), Cameron van der Burgh (50, 100 breaststroke), Neil Versfeld (200 breaststroke), Gerhard Zandberg (50, 100 backstroke, 100 individual medley), Graeme Moore (50, 100 freestyle, 50 butterfly, 100 individual medley)
Women: Mandy Loots (100 freestyle, 50, 200 butterfly, 100, 200 individual medley), Kathryn Meaklim (100, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, 100, 400 individual medley), Jessica Pengelly (200 backstroke, 200 breaststroke, 200, 400 individual medley), Chanelle van Wyk (50, 100 backstroke, 50 butterfly), Leone Vorster (100, 200, 400 freestyle, 100 backstroke).