Chad le Clos, Cameron van der Burgh and Tatjana Schoenmaker produced a thrilling final day’s action of the Durban leg of the SA Swimming Grand Prix on Sunday.
Le Clos’ golden time of 1min 47.54sec saw him claim the top spot in the 200-metre freestyle, over two seconds ahead of his competitors. Silver went to Egypt’s Marwan Elcamash in 1:50.36, and bronze to Calvyn Justus in 1:50.58.
Later in the day, Justus went two better in the 50m backstroke, winning the gold in 26.76 ahead of Neil de Villiers in 26.81 and Jacques van Wyk in 27.12.
Olympian Van der Burgh took the honours in the 100m breaststroke in 1:01.48, while Youth Olympian Jarred Crous came second in 1:02.33 and Michael Houlie third in 1:03.98.
The trio of Schoenmaker, Kaylene Corbett and Hanim Abrahams dominated the 50 and 200m breaststroke races when they claimed the first three positions, with Schoenmaker touching the wall ahead of Corbett and Abrahams in both events.
Pretoria’s Schoenmaker, Team South Africa’s flag bearer at the 2014 African Youth Games in Botswana, clocked 32.16 and 2:28.98 to Corbett’s 32.64 and 2:36.18 and Abrahams’ 33.83 and 2:38.73 respectively.
Jessica Ashley-Cooper and Nathania van Niekerk won silver and bronze in the 100m backstroke and 50m butterfly, clocking 1:02.47 and 27.35 and 1:03.93 and 28.65 respectively.
Gold in the 100m backstroke went to Mariella Venter in 1:02.13, while the 50m butterfly win was claimed by Vanessa Mohr in 27.01.
The 100m freestyle gold was claimed by Karin Prinsloo in 57.00, with Samantha Labuschagne finishing second in 59.43 and Gabi Grobler third in 59.60.
In the 400m freestyle, 15-year-old Kate Beavon scooped yet another gold medal in 4:24.82 ahead of Charlise Oberholzer, who was the youngest swimmer in Team SA at the African Games in Congo last year, in 4:26.43 and Rebecca Meder in 4:27.87 and also added a silver medal to her tally in the 400m individual medley in 5:01.05, while Meder won the event in 5:00.85.
The experienced Rene Warnes walked away with the 200m butterfly title in 2:14.96, while Tarryn Els finished second in 2:19.85 and Kristin Bellingan third in 2:22.64.
In the 50m freestyle, Douglas Erasmus’ fast time of 22.83 secured him the gold medal ahead of Zane Waddell in 23.31 and Caydon Muller in 23.43.
In the 100m butterfly, Alard Basson claimed the top spot in 54.67, ahead of Brendan Levy in 56.87 and Robin Raven in 57.59, while Jarryd Baxter won the 200m individual medley in 2:06.10 to Dayne Odendaal’s 2:07.74 and Serbia’s Aleksa Bobar in 2:08.75.
In the long distance 1500m freestyle, Matthew Meyer won gold in 15:23.08, while Brent Szurdoki finished second in 15:37.41 and Roberto Gomes third in 16:17.04.
Szurdoki also finished with silver in the 200m backstroke in 2:05.23 ahead of Daniel Anderson in 2:11.32 and behind Ruan Rass in 2:05.19.
Details of the remaining legs of the SA Swimming Grand Prix are as follows:
Port Elizabeth, Newton Park Swimming Pool – 19-20 February
Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch University Swimming Pool – 26-28 February
Picture of Schoenmaker courtesy of www.stevehaagsports.com