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Stars in PE action

South Africa’s swimming stars will be up against a strong international field vying for international points and prize money, when the first edition of the SA International Invitational Swimming Meet kicks off at the Newton Park Swimming Pool in Port Elizabeth on Saturday and Sunday.

World ranked contenders such as Brazil’s Henrique Barbosa and Joao Gomes, USA’s Randall Bal, Great Britain’s Liam Tancock, Tunisia’s Ahmed Mathlouthi, Germany’s Yannick Lebherz, SA’s Cameron van der Burgh, George du Rand, William Diering and Gerhard Zandberg will be out to claim a stake of the total $US116 000 in prize money with the event allowing for spectators to be able to view a world-class swimming action package.

Add in the brilliance of young SA talent like medley stars Riaan Schoeman and Chad le Clos, plus backstroke sensation Charl Crous, and the all-star cast of SA swimming are ready to turn on the speed and excitement.

Girl power will also be on display, with Brazil’s Fabiola Molina, Spain’s Mireia Belmonte and Conchi Badillo, Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry, British duo Francesca Halsall and Elizabeth Simmonds plus local stars Natalie du Toit, Suzaan van Biljon, Bianca Meyer, Mandy Loots, Kathryn Meaklim, Chanelle van Wyk, Karin Prinsloo and the young and talented Vanessa Mohr.

Swimming South African President, Mr Jace Naidoo said ÔÇ£The objective of this inaugural event is to showcase the skills and talents of our Senior Elite, Senior and Youth squads who will compete against some of FINA’s top ranking international athletes over the next two days.

ÔÇ£With only 18 months to go to the Olympic Games, the inaugural SA International Invitational Swimming Meet is the perfect opportunity for our swimmers to race against some of the best in the world in preparation for the FINA World Championships taking place in Shanghai, China in July 2011 as well as London 2012ÔÇØ

ÔÇ£We at the National Lotteries Board are proud to be associated with Swimming South Africa and the inaugural SA International Invitational Swimming Meet taking place on 29 ÔÇô 30 January. To the athletes, may your performances take swimming to a new level not only in the minds of SA’s sports fans, but all across the world,” said Prof. Alfred Nevhutanda, Chairperson of the National Lotteries Board.

ÔÇ£We hope that the grants from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) will help develop swimming in SA so that we get representation from all corners of South Africa at future international meets.ÔÇØ

The hosting of the SA International Invitational Swimming Meet in Port Elizabeth is made possible through the support of loyal swimming partner in the form of the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund. Courtesy of Swimming South Africa, the prize money stakes are high with a gold medal worth US$1500, a silver medal at US$1000 and a bronze medal worth US$500. The Best Performance, both male and female, based on their FINA points will each receive US$10000.

The heat session of the swimming will take place at the Newton Park Swimming Pool on January 29-30 from 09h30 with the final session beginning at 17h30.

Entrance to watch the swimming is free of charge