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Trott’s positive signs

Wendy Trott, Jean Basson, George du Rand and Charl van Zyl flew the South African flag with pride on the second day of swimming action at the 13th FINA World Championships in Rome on Monday. 

In advancing to the final, the University of Georgia-based Trott clocked 16min 8.98 secs in the 1500m freestyle heats to produce the sixth fastest time of the morning, well inside her previous African record time of 16:10.97 set in Durban in April this year. 

In the 200m freestyle heats, Jean Basson clocked 1:45.88 – the fourth fastest of the session – to book his place in the semi-finals. In 100m backstroke action, George du Rand produced a career best time of 54.29 (inside his previous mark of 54.6), while Durbanite Charl van Zyl clocked 54.67 to put himself as the fastest under 18 age group swimmer in the world in this discipline. Van Zyl’s previous career best mark had stood at 55.2.┬á

Due to the high standard at the world championships, both swimmers were not able to advance to the next round. 

Following the morning session, the SA team management gave backstroke swimmer Darren Murray and 200m breaststroke star Neil Versfeld their chance in a 100m time trial in a bid to finalise the selection for the 4x100m individual medley relay. 

Murray clocked 55.5 secs in the 100m backstroke, while Versfeld finished the 100m breaststroke in a brisk 1:00.26. 

Meanwhile, Nicolette Poulos’ national women’s water polo side went down 16-9 to Uzbekhistan in the playoff fixture for 15th and 16th places at the world showpiece.┬á

After holding their opponents to a 4-all tie after the first chukka, the 

South Africans lost focus which has been a major downfall of the team at the World Championships, according to Poulos.


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