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Zandberg leads chase
- Updated: April 13, 2011
Pretoria-based Gerhard Zandberg booked his place to the FINA World Championships in Shanghai when he sprinted to a golden 24.90 second victory in the 50-metre backstroke final on the second day of the Telkom SA National Senior and Youth Swimming Championships at the Newton Park Swimming Pool in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday night.
It was 27-year-old Zandberg’s 11th national title as Charl Crous finished with the silver in 25.53 and Darren Murray with the bronze in 25.84.
Two more qualification times were achieved by Wendy Trott and 14-year-old Michelle Weber as they raced to the gold and silver in the 1500m freestyle in 16:22.57 and 16.36.76 respectively, securing their place to Shanghai within the prescribed time of 16:41.49.
In the 50m butterfly semi-finals, Olympics veteran Roland Schoeman also finished with an A qualifying time of 23.43, bettering his time from the morning heats of 23.62. The final of the 50m butterfly will take place on Wednesday, where Schoeman will look to improve even more and confirm his qualification.
A fast Cameron van der Burgh, Commonwealth champion, clocked 1:01.54 in the 100m breaststroke semi-finals, giving him an A qualifying time in the build-up to Wednesday night’s final. He will be up against the likes of KwaZulu-Natal’s Rory Buck and Gauteng’s Thabang Moeketsane.
Earlier on Tuesday evening, Vanessa Mohr claimed the gold in the 50m butterfly with a B qualifying time of 27.00. Mohr pencilled her name in for inclusion in the FINA World Championships squad, following her A qualifying time in the morning’s heat session. Mandy Loots came second (27.64) and Marne Erasmus third (27.81).
Tara Nicholas was the surprise of the evening as she sped past Suzaan van Biljon to take the 50m breaststroke title in 32.59. Van Biljon touched the wall in 32.68 while Claire Conlon took the bronze in 32.81.
Jean Basson was the winner in the 200m freestyle, clocking a fast 1:48.94, followed by Sebastien Rousseau in 1:49.65 and Jasper Venter in 1:49.87.
On the youth side, 16-year-old Reynard Wessels from the Free State went away with the gold in the 50m butterfly in 25.11. Ryan Coetzee finished second in 25.76 and Dylan Mac Millan in third with a time of 25.79.
Zimbabwe’s James Lawson was first in the 100m breaststroke, clocking 1:05.21 while Daniel Marsden (1:05.58) and Fabian Ruszczynski (1:05.90) finished in second and third respectively.
In the 100m freestyle, Natasha de Vos made it to the top of the medal podium with a time of 58.44, Marne Erasmus was second in 59.57 and Lindsay McLeod in third with a time of 59.63. Amy Peens claimed the gold in the 100m backstroke in 1:05.67 with Tammy Price (1:06.84) and Juane du Plessis (1:07.28) in second and third respectively.
The multi-disability athletes added to the winning atmosphere when they took to the water in a bid to better their swim times in preparation for the Paralympic Games. The likes of Natalie du Toit and Kevin Paul both scooped the gold in their respective races on Tuesday, Du Toit winning the 50m butterfly in 32.35sec.
A total of four A qualifiers have been achieved to date.
Wednesday’s third day of the Telkom SA National Senior and Youth Swimming Championships promises to see more qualifying times and rising talent as heats start at 9am and finals at 6pm.