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WP swimmers dominate championships

Swimming South Africa have a long term vision for the sport as they cater to all age groups and levels of swimming with the various Regional Championships.

The weekend of the 27-29 March is no exception as the Telkom SA Level 1 Championships took place in Oudtshoorn, Sasolburg and Bloemfontein.

Swimming SA has also opened their doors to the rest of the continent and continually strives to raise the level of competition on the continent.

ÔÇ£South Africa is a strong swimming nation and as such has a responsibility to help grow the sport in Africa and we are blessed with great facilities around the country, so we have to open our doors to the rest of the ContinentÔÇ£said Swim SA President Jace Naidoo.

Competing in Oudtshoorn is a contingent from Namibia and Kenya, and both countries have talent coming through, especially in the 10 year-old age group.

Saturday in Oudtshoorn was mainly made up of preliminary rounds and Namibia will be highly satisfied with the results of the squad of 18 swimmers in all age groups. Eleven of their squad have made finals.

Kenya have sent a huge delegation of 25, with most of the group ranging in ages between 8 and 14, the perfect age group to find future talent.

But as expected, Western Province swimmers are once again in dominant form in their region. Eleven-year-old James Taufeeq already has two gold medals behind his name in the 100m freestyle and 50m Backstroke respectively.

Taufeeq’s performances in the 200 breaststroke where he swam a time of 3:17.85 should see him being promoted to Level 2 for the new season.

Based on their performances, other swimmers that should be joining Taufeeq at the Level 2 Competition next year are Marcus, J Gunton of Walmers SC-WP (200m breaststroke 12 years), 13-year-old Christoffel van Zyl (200m breaststroke), Udo N Neumann, the 13-year-old from Namibia (200m breaststroke).

Another youngster who really has caught the eye is Vineyards Desmarais Bailey, winning gold in the 100m freestyle, 200 IM, 4x50m IM and silver in the 50 backstroke.

In Sasolburg, young Louw Oberholzer from Diadora Aquatics in Gauteng North is making waves. The 10-year-old had already bagged three gold and one silver.

This in itself is very impressive, but the most impressive result is that one of his gold medals came in the 200 IM for 12-year-olds. The other medals came in the 100m freestyle (gold), 50m backstroke (gold) and 200m breaststroke (silver).