Durban hosts SA’s swim stars who will be racing against the clock in a quest to post Olympic qualifying times as the SA National Aquatic Championships, doubling as the official Olympic Trials, takes place at the Kings Park Aquatic Centre in Durban, from 10-16 April 2016.
This year’s event is a make or break for swimmers who are looking to post Olympic qualifying times in order to be eligible for final 2016 RIO team selection by SASCOC.
The 2016 line-up of swimmers includes Olympic gold medallists Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh, with Le Clos racing the 100 and 200-metre butterfly and 50 and 200m freestyle, while Van der Burgh will compete in the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke events.
Veteran Olympian Roland Schoeman will return to the pool in the 50 and 100m freestyle races, while Matthew Meyer will tackle the 1500m freestyle, with Christopher Reid taking on the backstroke events.
Michael Meyer and Sebastien Rousseau will compete against each other in the 200m butterfly as well as the 200 and 400m individual medley, while Myles Brown will be looking to dominate the 100, 200 and 400m freestyle.
Backstroke specialist Karin Prinsloo will take to the water in the 200m backstroke and test her speed in the 100, 200 and 400m freestyle events, while Vanessa Mohr will race in the quick 50 and 100m freestyle, as well as the 50 and 100m butterfly.
Amongst the new generation, Mariella Venter (16) and Tatjana Schoenmaker (18) are rapidly developing into formidable campaigners, while Rebecca Meder (13) will be very keen to race against some of Mzansi’s top aquatic stars.
Venter will swim the 50, 100 and 200m backstroke, while Schoenmaker will battle it out in the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke, with Meder taking on the 400 and 800m freestyle as well as the 200 and 400m individual medley.
In the multi-disability category, there will be plenty of action from the likes of Paralympian Kevin Paul, who will feature in the 200m individual medley and the 100m breaststroke, while Challis Wright will add in the 100m backstroke and Hendri Herbst will strive for fast times in the 100m backstroke as well as the 50 and 100m freestyle.
On the women’s side, Shireen Sapiro will be back in the 50 and 100m backstroke, as well as the 50 and 100m freestyle, while Adri Visser will be making waves in the 50 and 100m butterfly, the 50 and 100m freestyle and the 200m individual medley.
In wishing the swimmers the best of luck for the SA National Aquatic Championships and Olympic Trials, Swimming SA President Jace Naidoo said: ‘The SA aquatics athletes are all champions in the eyes of Swimming SA and we trust that they will show the type of character, commitment and discipline, combined with their athletic skills of speed and strength, to become role models to our sports-loving fans across all communities in our country ahead of the Rio Olympic Games.’
Heats will start at 10am while the finals will begin at 6pm daily.
The staging of this event has been made possible through the support provided by Swimming SA partners, Sport and Recreation South Africa, SASCOC, Arena, Rand Water and the National Lotteries Commission.
Olympic Qualifying Times:
Event Men Women
50m freestyle 22.27sec 25.28sec
100m freestyle 48.99 54.43
200m freestyle 1:47.97 1:58.96
400m freestyle 3:50.40 4:09.08
800m freestyle 8:33.97
1500m freestyle 15:14.77
100m backstroke 54.36 1:00.25
200m backstroke 1:58.22 2:10.60
100m breaststroke 1:00.57 1:07.85
200m breaststroke 2:11.66 2:26.94
100m butterfly 52.36 58.74
200m butterfly 1:56.97 2:09.33
200m individual medley 2:00.28 2:14.26
400m individual medley 4:16.71 4:43.46