Le Clos continues fine form
Chad le Clos spearheaded another superb night at the SA Swimming Championships in Durban on Saturday, with Darian Townsend, Roland Schoeman, Karin Prinsloo and Suzaan van Biljon also confirming their qualification for the London Olympic Games.
Le Clos, 20, who has been in supreme form all week, clocking four A-standard times, won a thrilling 200m individual medley race in time of one minute, 58.97 seconds (1:58.97).
The KwaZulu-Natal swimmer was slower than he had been in the semifinals, but was nonetheless inside the required 2:00.17 mark.
He did show some signs of fatigue later in the evening, though, when he was the fastest qualifier in the 100m butterfly, which he won in 53.43 seconds.
Athens gold medallist Townsend went quicker in the final, dipping under the A-standard time with a 1:59.34 in a race that had additional interest due to Sebastien Rousseau already having a qualifying time prior to the meet.
Rousseau (2:00.37), however, was only third quickest and missed out altogether.
“It's been a pretty stressful week for me,” Townsend said.
"I'm not used to missing qualification. I usually get the times on my first two swims and I didn't get them until last night.
“I was glad to get it at the end and it's a huge relief.”
Another former Olympic gold medallist, and one of South Africa's most celebrated swimmers, Schoeman produced a stunning swim on his way to the 50m freestyle final.
The 31-year-old, who missed out on an A-standard time in the 100m freestyle, finished in 22.08, edging out Brad Tandy (22.51) and Gideon Low (22.59).
“I'm absolutely ecstatic,” Schoeman said.
“I've been so close now for the past seven months and to get it is a big monkey off my back, coming here tonight and swimming that kind of time.”
Prinsloo also set the standard in a semifinal race as she clocked 2:10.74, marginally inside the qualifying mark of 2:10.84 in the 200m backstroke.
That time meant the Northern Tigers swimmer, who already had an A-standard time in the event, assured herself of a place in the SA team for the London Games.
Prinsloo also won the 100m freestyle final, but her time of 55.77 was outside the qualifying mark of 54.57.
The last A-standard time on the night came in the 200m breaststroke final, which was lit up by Van Biljon's 2:26.74 that came on the back of her semifinal time of 2:25.89.
The only other final that took place was won by Charl Crous as he claimed the 200m backstroke title in 1:59.94.
Adri Visser (S5) added her name to the Paralympic A Qualification list in the 50m butterfly event, coming in with a time of 57.59.
In the multi-disability S14 50m breaststroke, Challis Wright bagged the gold in 34.98 ahead of Sipho Mjoka in 35.28 and Valentino Vergotine in 37.57. Kevin Paul (SB9), Hendrik van der Merwe (SB5) and Tadhg Slattery (SB5) collected the gold, silver and bronze medals in 30.32, 44.34 and 45.15 respectively.
Wright claimed his second gold of the evening in the 50m butterfly in 28.27 while Mjoka took bronze in 29.60. The silver medal went to Craig Groenewald in 28.96. Brazil’s Daniel Dias (S5) won in a golden 36.34 ahead of Mpho Mainganye (S7) and Johann van Heerden (S10).
It was gold, silver and bronze for Yvonne Smith (41.98), Cornelia Fowler (48.98) and Christelle Kriel (48.82) in the S14 100m breaststroke while Renette Bloem (SB11), Tenza Abrahams (SB9) and Dimakatso Makgakga (SB9) were victorious in the 100m breaststroke.
Fowler went one better in the 50m butterfly, winning the race in 30.55 while Smith took silver in 34.34 and Dot Smit the bronze in 37.62.
All the Olympic A Qualifying Times following Day 6 (SF = semifinal)
- Chad le Clos – 400m individual medley – 4:13.86
- Chad le Clos – 200m freestyle (SF) – 1:47.20
- Chad le Clos – 200m butterfly – 1:56.17
- Chad le Clos – 200m individual medley – 1:58.34
- Suzaan van Biljon – 200m breaststroke – 2:26.74
- Cameron van der Burgh – 100m breaststroke – 59.90
- Riaan Schoeman – 400m individual medley – 4:15.60
- Heerden Herman – 400m freestyle – 3:48.57
- Kathryn Meaklim – 400m individual medley - 4:37.70
- Kathryn Meaklim – 200m individual medley (SF) – 2:13.33
- Charl Crous – 100m backstroke – 54.17
- Gideon Louw – 100m freestyle (SF) – 48.74
- Darian Townsend – 200m individual medley – 1:59.34
- Wendy Trott – 800m freestyle (Heats) – 8:28.79
- Roland Schoeman – 50m freestyle (SF) – 22.08
- Karin Prinsloo – 200m backstroke (SF) – 2:10.74
All the Paralympic A Qualifying Times following Day 6
- Charl Bouwer (S13) – 100m backstroke - 59.78
- Charl Bouwer (S13) – 400m freestyle - 4:13.93
- Charl Bouwer (S13) – 50m freestyle – 24.38
- Charl Bouwer (S13) – 100m freestyle – 52.89
- Charl Bouwer (S13) – 100m butterfly – 58.78
- Hendri Herbst (S11) – 100m backstroke - 1:18.98
- Hendri Herbst (S11) – 400m freestyle – 4:58.75
- Hendri Herbst (S11) – 50m freestyle – 26.86
- Hendri Herbst (S11) – 100m freestyle – 1:00.12
- Achmad Hassiem (S10) – 100m butterfly – 58.79
- Shireen Sapiro (S10) – 100m backstroke - 1:10.70
- Natalie du Toit (S9) – 100m backstroke - 1:14.78
- Natalie du Toit (SB8) – 100m breaststroke – 1:29.84
- Natalie du Toit (S9) – 100m freestyle – 1:05.75
- Natalie du Toit (S9) – 100m butterfly – 1:12.34
- Emily Gray (S10) - 100m backstroke - 1:16.88
- Tadhg Slattery (SB5) - 100m breaststroke -1:40.70
- Hendrik van der Merwe (SB5) - 100m breaststroke -1:43.84
- Challis Wright (SB14) – 100m breaststroke – 1:16.02
- Craig Groenewald (SB14) – 100m breaststroke – 1:14.80
- Yvonne Smith (SB14) – 100m breaststroke – 1:32.43
- Yvonne Smith (S14) – 200m freestyle – 2:24.24
- Renette Bloem (SB11) – 100m breaststroke – 1:39.06
- Marike Naude (SB13) – 100m breaststroke – 1:41.27
- Kevin Paul (SB9) – 100m breaststroke – 1:05.94 (World Record)
- Kevin Paul (S10) – 50m freestyle – 25.68
- Kevin Paul (S10) – 200m breaststroke – 2:24.23 (World Record)
- Kevin Paul (S10) – 100m freestyle – 55.58
- Adri Visser (S5) – 50m butterfly – 57.59