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Quartet race to record
- Updated: August 7, 2011
A quartet consisting of Gerhard Zandberg, Roland Schoeman, Jurie Wilken and Nico Meyer set a new South African short course record in the men’s 4×100-metre freestyle relay at the national championships currently underway in Johannesburg.
Schoeman, fresh off a disappointing FINA World Championships campaign in Shanghai, swam the final 100m of the relay and ultimately secured the record on the opening day of the four-day competition, reports Sapa.
The foursome clocked a time of 3min 19.45sec, improving the previous record by 0.77 seconds.
Zandberg, who won World Championships bronze in the 50m backstroke, touched in a time of 49.81 on the opening leg, followed by Meyer in 50.89 and Jurie Wilken in 50.89. Schoeman sprinted to the finish with the fastest split, clocking 47.98, to secure the record.
The first day of the championships was otherwise marred by the lack of big name swimmers.
With the high altitude posing a factor, many of South Africa’s top swimmers opted not to compete at the championships.
Schoeman on Friday scratched the 50m and 100m freestyle events from his schedule.
Zandberg advanced easily to Saturday’s 100m backstroke final. He pulled away from the rest of the swimmers in the first semi-final and it seemed like he was taking a leisurely swim in the final 25m as he clocked 54.84 seconds.
Garth Tune, however, recorded the fastest time of the two semi-finals, finishing in 54.48.
Zandberg said he was out to have fun at the championships, and it was unfortunate that so many of the high-profile swimmers decided to snub the meet.
“I feel it is important for the upcoming generation to compete against the big swimmers and for people to see the likes of Cameron van der Burgh in action,” Zandberg said. “It is not a good message that is being sent out.”
He said there was no pressure for him to perform at the championships and he was set to swim in seven events because he liked competing at national level.
Mandy Loots ripped her competitors apart in the women’s 200m butterfly, winning her specialist event in a time of 2:10.87.
Megan Stephens finished in second place in 2:20.20, trailing by almost half the length of the pool, while Suzanne Janse van Rensburg finished in third in 2:24.06.
Loots, who turned 33 this week, put up another strong showing in the 400m individual medley, an event that does not normally form part of her repertoire, and secured gold in 4:48.41.
She was also set to compete in the 50m and 100m butterfly events at the championships, as well as the 100m and 200m individual medley and the 200m backstroke.
Loots said she was disappointed with her time in the 200m butterfly. “In the greater scheme of things you need to look at times internationally,” she said.
Loots added that she had also taken notice of the absence of some of her colleagues. “It is a little bit sad for the youngsters who see them race on TV, but I can also understand as they only got back (from Shanghai) on Tuesday,” she said.
The final of the men’s 200m breaststroke went down to the wire with four swimmers keeping each other at arm’s length.
Christopher Cowley took the spoils in a time of 2:16.83, and he was followed by Cheyne Fisher, who clocked 2:17.32, and Kyle Baxter who took third in 2:17.51.
Commonwealth and world short course champion, Chad le Clos, won the first of the men’s 50m semi-finals in a time of 24.14, with Tune winning the second semi-final in 24.20.
Karin Prinsloo, who was also at World Champs in China, got her campaign off to a good start by leading the second semi-final in the women’s 100m backstroke, posting a time of 1:00.52, and Lehesta Kemp swam the second fastest time of the qualifiers, clocking 1:03.30.
The men’s 400m individual medley was won by Michael Meyer in a time of 4:21.67, with Mark de Swardt taking second place in 4:28.22. Justin Kermack was third in 4:30.97.
Zoe Venter won the women’s 1 500m freestyle in 17:12.07, with Bianca Hauzer bagging silver in 17:21.32 and Louise Oelofse snatching bronze in 18:52.79.
The Tuks Swimming Club quarter ÔÇô Prinsloo, Kirsten Lapham, Jo-Mari van Zyl and Megan Scott ÔÇô won gold in the women’s 4x50m relay in 1:46.04.
All the results
Men 200 Freestyle Final┬á ÔÇô1. Jay Cee Thomson 1:50.02; 2.┬á┬á Jurie Wilken 1:51.90 3.┬á Pierre de Waal 1:52.87
Women 50m Breaststroke semi-final┬á ÔÇô 1.┬á Claire Conlin; 32.12; 2.┬á Franko Jonker 32.51; 3.┬á Kelly Gunnell 32.65
Women 50m Breaststroke ÔÇô S1 ÔÇô S13 Multi-disability ÔÇô 1.┬á Tezna Abrahams 45.93; 2.┬á┬á Dimakatso Makgakga 53.97;┬á 3. Ntswaki Mbiko 1:18.95
Women 50m Breaststroke ÔÇô S14 ÔÇô S15 ÔÇô Yvonnne Smith 42.41
Men 50m Breaststroke :┬á 1.┬á Ashley Castelo Branco ÔÇô 43.52;┬á 2.┬á Moses Malatji┬á J57.81; 3.┬á Dylan Da Silva J50.79
Men 100m Backstroke semi-final┬á ÔÇô 1.┬á Garth Tune 54.48;┬á 2.┬á Gerhard Zandberg 54.84;┬á 3.┬á Niel de Villiers 55.29
Women 200m Butterfly ÔÇô 1.┬á Mandy Loots 2:10.87;┬á 2.┬á Megan Stephens 2:20:20;┬á 3.┬á Suzanne J v Rensburg 2.24.06
Men 200m Breaststroke ÔÇô 1.┬á Christopher Cowley 2.16.83;┬á 2.┬á Cheyne Fisher 2:17.32;┬á 3.┬á Kyle Baxter 2.17.51
Women 100m Backstroke semi-final ÔÇô 1.┬á Karin Prinsloo┬á 1.00.52;┬á 2.┬á Lehesta Kemp 1.03.30;┬á 3.┬á Amy Peens 1.04.03
Women 100m IM ÔÇô S1 ÔÇô S13 ÔÇô 1.┬á Dimakatso Makgakga J1: 46.29;┬á 2.┬á Tezna Abrahams J1:45.83;┬á 3.┬á Lindiswa Dzanibe ÔÇô 3: 13.20
Men 100m IM S1 S10 ÔÇô 1.┬á Dylan Da Silva J1:30.92; 2.┬á┬á James Bezuidenhout J1:20.87; 3.┬á┬á Ahsley Castelo Branco 1:34.98
Men 50m Butterfly semi-finals ÔÇô 1. Chad le Clos 24.14; 2.┬á Garth tune 24.20; 3.┬á Neil Watson 24.35
Women 400m IM ÔÇô 1.┬á Mandy Loots 4:48.41;┬á 2.┬á Justine MacFarlane 4:55.83;┬á 3.┬á Marlies Ross 5:00.22
Men 400m IM ÔÇô 1.┬á Michael Meyer 4:21.67;┬á 2.┬á Mark de Swardt 4:28.22;┬á 3.┬á Justin Kermack 4:30.97
Women 50m Backstroke S1 ÔÇô S13 ÔÇô 1.┬á Tezna Abrahams J54.10;┬á 2.┬á Dimakatso Makgakga J53:84;┬á 3.┬á Lindiswa Dzanibe 1:22.72
Women 50m Backstroke S14 ÔÇô S15ÔÇô┬á 1 .┬á Yvonne Smith 40.74
Men 50m Backstroke S1 ÔÇô S13 ÔÇô 1.┬á James Bezuidenhout ÔÇô 34.19;┬á 2.┬á Dylan da Silva┬á 42.43;┬á 3.┬á Moses Malatji 50.15
Women 1500m Freestyle ÔÇô 1.┬á Zoe Venter 17:12.07;┬á 2.┬á Bianca Hauzer 17:21.32;┬á 3.┬á Louise Oelofse 18:52.79
Men 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay ÔÇô┬á 1.┬á Tuks Swimming Club – NT Gerhard Zandberg, Jurie Wilken, Nico Meyer, Roland Schoeman┬á 3:19.45;┬á 2.┬á Players Swimming Club NT Jay-Cee Thomson, Pierre De Waal, Jonathan vd Merwe, Jacques van Wyk 3:26.26;┬á 3.┬á Tuks Swimming Club ÔÇô NT Werner Bosman, Quinton Delie, Caydon Muller, Douglas Erasmus: 3:34.54
Women 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay 1.┬á Tuks Swimming Club ÔÇô Karin Prinsloo, Kirsten Lapham, Jo-Mari Van Zyl, Megan Scott 1:46.04;┬á 2.┬á Players Swimming Club Jean-Marie Neethling, Lehesta Kemp, Kamilla Snyman, Marce Loubser 1:49.36;┬á 3.┬á Tuks Swimming Club ┬áAmy Peens, Natasha de Vos, Chantel Addinall, Fabienne Marsay 1:50.64