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Trott is tops in France

OPEX provisional 2012 Olympic squad member Wendy Trott is the toast of the country today as the South African swimmer powered her way to victory in the 800 metres freestyle final on the opening night of the prestigious three-day Mare Nostrum gala in Canet, France.
And afterwards it was revealed that she did so while still suffering the after-effects of bronchitis, having fallen ill last week. She was put on a course of antibiotics but took to the water last night less than 100%.

Trott is currently in her first year of studying international law at the University of Georgia in the US and made her bold bid for honours with four laps (200m) to go, taking the gold medal in 8min 32.70sec.

That wasn’t her fastest time of the season, her 8:31.18 at the Nationals in Durban in April being the 14th quickest of the year, but that can be largely explained away due to illness, but the manner in which she battled gamely showed her fighting spirit and determination.

ÔÇ£Trott’s win was a bonus but the way in which she held her own in a highly tactical race, was definitely a positive sign for her as she continues her preparations to represent the country at the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Rome from July 26 to August 2,ÔÇØ said national team coaching convener Dean Price, who is with the SA swimmers in France.

Trott will return to South Africa at the weekend where she will spend time with her family and friends before getting into a training routine for the World Championships.

Trott’s countryman and reigning world champion Gerhard Zandberg took fourth place in the 50m backstroke. Zandberg clocked 25.70sec in a race won by 18-year-old Australian Ben Treffers (25.14).

The 50m breaststroke went to Mark Gangloff (US), in 27.62, ahead of Christian Sprenger (Aus), on 27.93, and our own Cameron van der Burgh (28.06), who is feeling the effects of an increase in workload under Kitajima mentor Norimasa Hirai.

Another South African, Thabang Moeketsane, put in a brave effort in the 50m breaststroke B final, ending in fourth spot in 29.21sec.