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Star’s double trouble
- Updated: August 7, 2009
Gerhard Zandberg’s disqualification from the 50 metres backstroke heats for wearing two swimsuits has enhanced Garth Tune’s chances of retaining the coveted sprint title, at the Telkom SA Short Course Championships, which started in Pietermaritzburg on Friday.
Zandberg, fresh from winning the 50 metres backstroke bronze medal at the FINA World Championships (long course) in Rome, Italy last week, wore a jammer swim suit over his regular costume, and was disqualified from the race.
ÔÇ£I am entered for quite a few events at this year’s Telkom SA Short Course Championships which meant I would probably have to swim in 30 or so races, so I won’t wear my top swim suit on each occasion,ÔÇØ said Zandberg.
ÔÇ£I felt comfortable with what I was wearing, but I understand the rule is the rule, although I did think that I would have probably got away with a warning rather than a disqualification.ÔÇØ
Darren Murray posted the fastest backstroke time of the heats with 25.90, while Johannesburg-based Tune, who won the title at last year’s Telkom SA Short Course Championships held in Germiston, played down the absence of Zandberg from semi-final line up.
ÔÇ£I race my own race against the clock, and don’t worry about who’s racing against me,ÔÇØ said Tune, who was fourth fastest in the morning session in 26.18.
Zandberg later returned to the swimming pool in a conventional swimming costume and ended eighth fastest in the 50 metres breaststroke semi-finals in 28.53. William Diering will go into the final with the fastest time of 27.56. Next best in the semi-final rankings were Neil Versfeld (27.61) and Cameron van der Burgh (27.70).
Meanwhile, three-time Olympian Mandy Loots and Chanelle van Wyk advanced to the final of the 50 metres butterfly. Loots was the fastest of the last 16 swimmers, clocking 27.47 with Capetonian Van Wyk next best in 28.10.