Corney Swanepoel was born 23 years ago in Potchefstroom but these days represents New Zealand. So, as much as ÔÇ£Corney SwanepoelÔÇØ sounds like the SA-born swimmer he is, it’s the Kiwis who are benefiting┬á from his talent.
The New Zealander stormed to a national record victory in the men’s 100m butterfly at the New Zealand championships, where Rome 2009 world-championship trials were held in Christchurch. Swanepoel turned in 24sec on his way to a 51.61 victory ahead of fellow Olympians Moss Burmester (51.99) and Daniel Bell (52.28). It was the third fastest time in the world this year. ÔÇ£I had done absolutely no ‘fly until five weeks ago. For the last five years I have been concentrating on the 100m butterfly race so it can get a bit much after all that time,” Swanepoel told NZPA. ÔÇ£So I wanted to refresh myself and basically with my coach Thomas Ansorg we have changed just about everything. As well as doing more freestyle we have done less mileage and more power stuff. Mentally it’s really refreshing.┬á
ÔÇ£When you do something new there’s an element of risk so I was a bit nervous tonight. It’s exciting to get this result. Now I can go back and work in this, do some hard work to help with the back end of the race. I am pretty excited about this swim.”
The South African record stands at 51.90, established by Lyndon Ferns at the last FINA world championships. Which goes to prove that Swanepoel and his 51.61 is unfortunately New Zealand’s gain and South Africa’s loss.