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Rising stars to impress

SA swimming’s American-based brigade of Jean Basson, Troyden Prinsloo, Neil Versfeld and Wendy Trott will be looking to bring the speed and rhythm shown at the recent NCAA Championships in Texas with them when they gun for World Championship qualifying times at the Telkom SA National Championships in Durban, which starts next week.┬á

The SA team will compete at the FINA World Championships in Rome, Italy from July 18-August 1 and the Kings Park Aquatics Centre is expected to be a hive of activity with SA’s swimmers out to post fast times in a bid to make the national provisional squad.┬á

Arizona-based Basson ÔÇô who is entered for the 100, 200 and 400m┬áfreestyle ÔÇô recently clocked 4min 08.92sec in the 500 yards freestyle at the college championships in the USA, which is the 4th fastest time ever over the distance.┬á

Prinsloo, clocked 14:30.90 in the 1650 yards freestyle ÔÇô the 9th fastest┬átime ever ÔÇô while his KwaZulu Natal team-mate Versfeld, recorded a 200 yards breaststroke performance of 1:51.40, which was superior to the US Open record time of 1:51.74 held by Brendan Hansen.┬á

Prinsloo will line up for the 800 and 1500m freestyle, while Versfeld is set to compete in the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke races. 

Trott, whose 1650 yards time of 15:45.49 at the championships in Texas places her as the 12th fastest ever, will compete in Durban in the 200 and 400m freestyle, 400m individual medley, and in her more favoured 800 and 1500m freestyle events, is also expected to post brisk performances. 

The competition between Versfeld and Pretoria-based Cameron van der Burgh in the breaststroke races is expected to be one of the highlights of the championships. Versfeld will line up with qualifying times of 29.02 (50m breaststroke), 1:01.78 (100 metres breaststroke) and 2:10.06 (200m breaststroke), while Van der Burgh will take to the waters with qualifying performances of 27.29 (50 metres breaststroke) and 1:00.84 (100m breaststroke). 

Van der Burgh spent a fortnight competing and training in Japan in February, where he worked on adjusting his swim stroke under the guidance of Japanese national team head coach Norimasa Hirai ÔÇô former mentor to 100 and 200 metres Beijing Olympic breaststroke gold medallist Kosuke Kitajima.


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