A whole heap of Rio 2016 Olympians will be among South Africa’s aquatic stars who will be taking to the water at the KwaZulu-Natal Aquatics Premier Championships.
The event doubles as the official Commonwealth Games Trials, taking place at the Kings Park Aquatics Centre in Durban, from Saturday through to next Friday.
Close to 500 swimmers will compete at the trials to secure a place in the final team which will be selected to represent SA in the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia from 4-15 April.
Straight from his fourth FINA World Cup title win, Chad le Clos will be looking to secure his place at next year’s competition when he participates in the 50, 100 and 200m butterfly as well as the 100 and 200m freestyle.
Also determined to book his place in the Commonwealth Team will be Olympic gold-medalist Cameron van der Burgh, who will race the 50 and 100m breaststroke events.
Other contenders include the likes of Olympians Douglas Erasmus in the 50 and 100m freestyle, sprinter Brad Tandy (50m freestyle) long-distance swimmer Matthew Meyer in the 400m freestyle and the 1500m freestyle as well as the up and coming talents of Luca Holtzhausen (13), Luan Grobbelaar (15), Mariella Venter (17), Hanim Abrahams (15), Erin Gallagher (18) and Dune Coetzee (15).
On the women’s side, 20-year-old Tatjana Schoenmaker, who won a silver medal at the 2017 World Student Games in Taipei, with a 200m breaststroke personal best of 2min 24.61sec, will be looking to better that time over the week-long event, swimming the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke, 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley.
Swimming South Africa’s CEO, Shaun Adriaanse, said: ‘Our swimmers have a history of rising to the challenge to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and to compete for the highest honours at the Games.
‘We wish all athletes the best of luck in striving for their best to qualify for the Games,’ he concluded.
Daily heats will star at 9am while the finals will begin at 5pm.
Picture of Le Clos in 2017 World Cup action courtesy of Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images
Qualifying times for the 2018 Commonwealth Games:
Men – Women
50m freestyle: 23.26 seconds – 26.06
100 free 50.64 – 56.82
200 free 1:51.50 – 2:02.83
400 free 3:56.14 – 4:19.34
800 free Not Applicable – 8:56.71
1500 free 15:44.74 – Not applicable
100 backstroke 55.95 – 1:02.73
200 back 2:02.70 – 2:16.13
100 breaststroke 1:02.46 – 1:09.95
200 breast 2:15.70 – 2:31.02
100 butterfly 54.12 – 1:00.53
200 fly 2:01:38– 2:14.31
200 Individual Medley 2:04.43 – 2:18.08
400 IM 4:26.93 – 4:52.97