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Gerhard focuses on 100m

Gerhard Zandberg followed up his bronze medal performance at the World Championships in China last weekend with more encouraging results on the second day of the Telkom South African Swimming Championships at the St Andrews Girls School Complex on Sunday.

After Zandberg won his medal in the 50m backstroke in Shanghai, he immediately acknowledged that he needs to focus on the 100m event in the build up to the Olympic trials in April next year. And this he did with a solid swim in the men’s 100m backstroke to take the gold.

The 28-year-old raced home in a fast 53.20sec for a comfortable victory ahead of Garth Tune who touched in 54.33sec and Neil de Villiers who clocked 54.77sec for the bronze. A little later Zandberg took the top spot after the semi-finals of the 100m individual medley in 56.81sec.

The man lying second is Chad Le Clos who also had a busy afternoon. Le Clos, who finished fifth in the 200m butterfly at the World Champs, had a comfortable 57.03sec in the 100m IM.

Le Clos got his racing off to an excellent start with victory in the men’s 50m butterfly where he certainly was happy with the 23.79sec, edging out Neil Watson who took the silver in 24.40sec and Brad Tandy who was third in 24.82sec.

There was not much rest before Le Clos had to be back at it, this time in the semi-finals of the 100m freestyle. He eased up in the final few metres to touch in
50.75sec to go into the final as the second seed after Tyrone Skea raced to an excellent 49,89sec.

Nineteen-year-old Le Clos needed to take to the blocks in the semi-finals of the men’s 100m butterfly as well. He will certainly be the man to beat despite lying second going into the final in 55.09sec, just behind Nico Meyer who had a great swim to clock 54,22sec.

Karin Prinsloo was another of the SA swimmers doing well after showing encouraging results at the World Championships. Prinsloo was a clear winner in the women’s 100m backstroke where she came so close to breaking that magical one-minute barrier. The 21-year-old clocked a 1:00.16 before she ended as the top seed in the women’s 100m freestyle, this time clocking a fast 55.17sec.

Tara Nicholas opened the finals session with a victory in the women’s 50m breaststroke in 32.44sec, edging out Jeanie du Toit (32.52sec) and Franko Jonker (32.63sec) in a close race. Du Toit later tackled the women’s 200m breaststroke where she took the third place in 2:36.04.

Justin Macfarlane produced an exciting result to win in an encouraging time of 2:29.12 with Kelly Gunnell taking the silver in 2:31.12.

Veteran Mandy Loots also had another busy day after her two victories on the opening day. The 33-year-old clocked up a fast 27.55sec to head the final of the women’s 50m butterfly, her main opposition likely to come from Marne Erasmus who recorded a 27.63sec swim.

In the women’s 100m IM, Loots showed just why she holds the national record as she stroked to a 1:02.83 and is unlikely to be threatened in the final.


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