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African record for Trott

Wendy Trott became the first South African to set a new African and national record as she raced into the final of the women’s 1500m freestyle on the second day of the swimming competition at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China on Monday.

The Georgia University student set the Africa and SA mark of 16min 08.96sec at the World Championships in Rome in 2009 before the banning of the supposedly faster swimsuits. In the final heat with favourite Lotte Friis from Denmark and Kate Ziegler (USA), Trott paced herself extremely well to finish in third place just 5.16sec off Friis in 16:05.63.

Trott will go into Tuesday’s final in fifth spot and line-up next to Ziegler who was clocked marginally faster in 16:02.53. She went through the 800m mark in a fast 8:35.64 and set amazing splits throughout the race, with plenty left at the end as she raced home, being timed at 30.81sec for the final 50 metres

Also on Monday Team South Africa’s Karin Prinsloo improved on her best time to make it through to the semi-finals of the women’s 100-metre backstroke.

Prinsloo won her heat with a solid performance, turning in 30.00sec and coming home within just 0.20sec of Melissa Corfe’s South African record, touching in an excellent 1min 01.34sec. She finished in 14th place overall and will have another chance at breaking that SA mark of 1:01.14 this evening.

It was not as encouraging for the swims that followed with Jean Basson still trying to find his old form that took him to a fourth place at the Olympic Games in the men’s 200m freestyle. Basson was in a difficult heat that included USA stars Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps. Lochte won the heat in 1:46.34 to set the top time with Phelps third in 1:46.98 while Basson ended in 1:48.95 to finish in 25th spot overall.

Then it was the turn of Suzaan van Biljon who improved on her mark this season finishing third in her heat behind Stacey Todd (Great Britain) and Jenna Laukkamen (Finland). Van Biljon touched just 0.56sec behind Todd in 1:09.64 ÔÇô but although her time was getting back to her best after retiring for two years, she ended in 25th place overall.

Former South Africa Sarah Poewe, now competing for Germany, ┬áwas extremely happy with her performance in the heats, finishing third in┬á1:07.38 in the final heat behind favourite Rebecca Soni (USA ÔÇô 1:05.54) ┬áand Liping Ji (China ÔÇô 1:07.10). They ended as the top three for the semi-finals.

The men’s 100m backstroke saw South African hopes Charl Crous and Gerhard Zandberg clock times of 55.14sec and 55.21sec respectively. Zandberg won Heat Three while Crous was sixth in Heat Four ÔÇô ending in 30th and 31st positions respectively.


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