Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Crous looks to London

There’s no looking back for swimmer Charl Crous, writes Mark Etheridge.

After winning three gold medals at last week’s national aquatic championships in Durban, the backstroker is firmly focusing on London after posting Olympic qualifying times in the 100-metre backstroke. Of course there’s the small matter of him having to qualify once more in international waters after fulfilling two of the two selection criteria to date ÔÇô those of qualifying at national championships and then overseas again.

To this effect, word is that Swimming South Africa are looking at sending Crous, Olympic gold medallist Roland Schoeman and breaststroker Suzaan van Biljon to Istanbul, Turkey to swim at the Turkish long-course championships.

Young Crous, 21, was taking these championships very seriously, going so far as to be unavailable on the popular Blackberry and Facebook communication tools for the duration of the gala. But he sent a clear message with his results. “I swam the 50, 100 and 200-metre backstroke and won all three gold medals. It’s a huge achievement being the best i all three disciplines and I don’t think any other swimmer has done that before,” he told Road to London 2012.

“I was obviously very happy but yet at the same time I expected to qualify after training so hard! I had alot of confidence going into the trials and both my coach and I had faith in us doing it. My coach [he’s yet another Graham Hill trained swimmer] said going into this competition that I was looking great and knew I was ready to deliver. He told me: ‘It’s your time’.”

Now living in Durban but with East London being his home town, Crous clocked winning times of 25.66 in the 50m back final, 54.17 in the 100m back (he also swam 54.19 semis), twice bettering the 54.40sec A standard qualifier, and then 1:59.94 in the 200m back final.

“I must say i got a lot of support from my family, not only from Durban but from my home town of East London.┬á I actually dedicated my 100m backstroke race to my ‘oupa’ who was diagnosed with cancer about three weeks ago.”

Crous will be hoping he nails that second qualifying time soon as “our 4x100m relay is top four in the world”.

Next up for Crous will be a trip up to Johannesburg. “I’m off up there on 4-6 May for a small holding camp with the Olympic team. Then on 29 May we head into Europe for preparation ÔÇô we’ll be in Spain, France, Italy and Monaco and then we head into the Olympic village a week prior to the Games.”