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Gold for Darian, Seb

Our American-based swimmers have had a busy couple of days with two gold medals and a handful of Olympic qualifying times as the 2011 AT&T Winter National Championships were swum in Atlanta at the weekend as preparation for next year’s Olympic Trials.

Darian Townsend, part of South Africa’s gold medal 4×100-metre freestyle relay team at the Athens Olympics in 2004, and Sebastien Rousseau claimed the gold and silver medals in the 200-metre individual medley, both clocking Olympic A Qualification times of 1min 59.27sec and 1:59.55 respectively, followed by a silver medal from Roland Schoeman in the 50m freestyle in a time of 22.19. Gideon Louw ended in eight spot with a time of 22.58.

On the second day of the competition, Townsend scooped the bronze medal in the 200m freestyle in another Olympic A Qualification time of 1:47.64, while Jean Basson came home in fifth place in 1:48.26 and Rousseau in ninth place in 1:49.44.

To round off the three-day event, Townsend claimed his third medal, a silver, in the 100m freestyle with a fast time of 48.87, just shy of the Olympic A Qualification time of 48.82, while Graeme Moore and Gideon Louw finished third and fourth respectively in the B Final.

Wendy Trott swam to a silver medal in the 800m freestyle, touching the wall in an Olympic A Qualification time of 8:28.40 and it was an incredible gold medal and an Olympic A Qualification time for Rousseau in the final event of the competition as he raced ahead of the pack in the 200m butterfly with a time of 1:56.77.

In other results, Leone Vorster finished ninth in the B Finals of the 400m freestyle in 4:16.54 and fourth in the B Final of the 200m freestyle with a time of 2:00.83, while Neil Versfeld was second in the B Final of the 200m breaststroke in 2:12.89 and sixth in the 100m breaststroke in 1:01.40.