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Ferns flies to African best

Olympic star Lyndon Ferns gave the crowd a taste of short course swimming at its best as he bettered his continental mark on an evening session of fast times at the Telkom SA Short Course Championships at the GC Jollife Swimming Pool in Pietermaritzburg Friday.

“I know I can go around 50.05sec in the final,” said Ferns, after clocking a semi-final time of 50.95 to better his African record of 51.04.

“I felt a bit tired towards the end of the race tonight, so I need to pace myself better next time. I will sit out the 50 metres races and focus on the 100 metres events. I have always enjoyed short course swimming and hope that after a good rest I will be able to go faster in the final.”

Darian Townsend bounced back from a relatively subdued campaign at the FINA World Championships in Rome last week, to just miss out on the SA record in the 200 metres freestyle.

Townsend showed confidence and rhythm as he took the gold medal in 1 min 42.97 secs – just outside Ryk Neethling’s African best of 1:42.75 – with Chad le Clos (1:47.77) and Jay-Cee Thompson (1:49.08) claiming the silver and bronze medals respectively.

“I always enjoy swimming short course because I did a lot of this type of swimming when I was in the USA,” said Townsend afterwards.

“It feels great coming down from a 50 metres international competition to swim in a 25 metres championship. I think I missed my taper by a week which held me back at the World Championships in Rome, but it put me in peak form for this short course event. I felt great in the water and made the most of
the turns and underwater parts of the race.”

Durban star Riaan Schoeman was another swimmer in fine form, just missing out on an SA mark. In the 400 metres individual medley final, Schoeman sped to the gold medal in 4:08.97 – just outside Terence Parkin’s SA record of 4:08.19.

Results from finals on the opening day of the four-day Telkom SA Short
Course Championships.

Men:

200m freestyle: 1 D Townsend (Seals-KZN) 1:48.09, 2 C le Clos (Seagulls-KZN)
1:52.59, 3 JC Thompson (Pisces-KZN) 1:49.80

50m backstroke multi disability:
1 C Groenewald (Bish-CG, S14) 31.10, 2 S
Clarke (Seal-KZ, S10) 32.09, 3 S Mogale (Bish-CG, S6) 45.05

400m individual medley: 1 R Schoeman (Pisces-KZ) 4:08.97, 2 C le Clos (Mr
Price Seagulls-KZN) 4:11.87, 3 M Husselmann (Pisces-KZ) 4:23.83

100m individual medley multi disability:
1 H Achmat (Cado-WP, SM10) 1:07.77,
2 T Slattery (Mdol-CG, SM6) 1:24.78, 3 M Mainganye (Mdol-CG) 1:33.64

4 x 100m freestyle relay:
1 Mr Price Seagulls-KZN, 3:20.12, 2 TuksSwimming
Club-NT 3:27.01, 3 Players Academy- 3:29.20

Women:

200m butterfly: 1 M Loots (Mdol-CG) 2:10.82, 2 C Lategan (Vine-WP) 2:11.91,
3 K Hauptfleisch (Kloo-KZ) 2:20.87

400m individual medley:
1 B Meyer (Pisces-KZN) 4:41.42, 2 J Liss (4:49.08, 3
K van Heerden (Tuks-NT) 4:49.25

1500m freestyle:
1 N du Toit (Mdol-CG) 16:45.51, 2 D Dryding (Vine-WP)
17:08.16), 3 A Logan (Pisces-KZN) 17:10.97

4 x 200m freestyle relay: Matie-WP 8:37.27, 2 Mdol-CG 8:38.52, 3
TuksSwimming-NT 8:41.34

50m backstroke multi disability
: 1 S Sapiro (Bish-CG, S10) 34.17, 2 E Gray
(Tuks-NT, S9) 36.61, 3 R Bloem (Matie-WP, S11) 49.51

100m individual medley multi disability:
1 E Gray (Tuks-NT, SM9) 1:22.07, 2
A Visser (Mdol-CG, SM5) 2:12.00, 3 R Bloem (Mati-WP, SM11) 1:38.97


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