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More qualifiers in Durban

Neil Versfeld, Heerden Herman and Mark Randall became the latest three additions to the list of Commonwealth Games A-Qualification on the final day of the Telkom SA National Aquatic Championships in Durban, bringing the total to 14.

Neil Versfeld won the 200-metre breaststroke title ahead of Cameron van der Burgh. Versfeld made his charge in the final 50m after Cameron led through 150m.

But then the stamina of Versfeld came through for the final push in the last 50m as van der Burgh visibly faded. Versfeld was chasing a time of 2min 13.69sec and touched the wall in 2:11.74 with van der Burgh finishing second (2:15.49).

This was the first time van der Burgh swam the 200m breaststroke with intent. ÔÇ£I am quite happy with my time. I cannot expect to move from the 50m/100m to 100m/200m overnight.ÔÇØ

In the final race of the day, the 1500m freestyle for men, Heerden Herman clocked 15:06.75 to Mark Randall’s 15:09.75 ÔÇô both well under the required 15:13.16. The times placed them fourth and fifth respectively on the world rankings, and second and third in the Commonwealth.

Roland Schoeman bagged his third gold medal of the Championships with a convincing win in the 50m freestyle.

Having already set an A-Qualification standard in the semi-finals, Schoeman blasted to a 22.04sec win to place him third on the world rankings behind France’s Frederick Bousquet (21.71) and Fabien Gilot (21.97). Schoeman is fastest in the Commonwealth with Australian Ashley Callus behind him 22.09sec.

Kevin Paul showed just why he won gold at the Paralympic Games in Beijing, when he set a new world record in the 50m breaststroke in the SB9 Category. Paul touched the wall in 30.96sec, to become the first swimmer to break 31sec and shatter the previous record of Pavel Poltavtsev (31.82sec) set in Berlin in 2009.

The 14 swimmers to have set Commonwealth Games A-Qualifying standards are:
Wendy Trott                             400m/800m Freestyle
Roland Schoeman                  50m Butterfly/50m Freestyle
Chad Le Clos                             200m Butterfly
Chanelle van Wyk                   50m Backstroke
Riaan Schoeman                      400m Individual Medley
Cameron van der Burgh       100m Breaststroke
Natalie du Toit┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á┬á ┬á50m Butterfly – S9 Category
Jean Basson                               200m Freestyle
Gideon Louw                             50m Freestyle
Darian Townsend                     200m Individual Medley
Sebastien Rousseau                200m Individual Medley
Heerden Herman                     1500m Freestyle
Mark Randall                               1500m Freestyle
Neil Versfeld                               200m Breaststroke


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