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Townsend plans for 2012

By Mark Etheridge

Olympic gold medallist in 2004, Darian Townsend is on song in his build-up to the 2012 Olympics in London.

The United States based swimmer, who was back in South Africa three months ago for the All Africa Games in Mozambique, showed some fine form in the AT&T Winter National Championships in Atlanta, Georgia at the weekend.

Townsend was in the medals on each of the three days of competition. He took gold in the 200-metre Individual Medley, beating fellow South African Sebastien Rousseau to the wall, in a time of 1min 59.27sec. The next day he took bronze in the 200m free (1:47.64) and on the final day got another silver, this time in the 100m free (48.87).

“Yes, I’m very happy with my swims over the last couple of weeks,” Townsend told Road to London 2012 on Wednesday. “I managed to pre-qualify for London in the 200 free and 200 IM. I narrowly missed the time in the 100 free, but the time I did was still a best time, so cant complain about that.”

Right now 27-year-old Townsend is back at his Arizona base. “But I leave for a meet in Russia just before Christmas ÔÇô a short course meet and I think Cameron [Van der Burgh] is also going to it. I’ll then return to Arizona before the New Year and resume training. This season of training is very important as the next focus meet for me will be the South African Olympic Trials in April in Durban. I’ll base my training for this in Arizona where I have been for the last five years. We’ve got a great squad here of both college swimmers and pro swimmers which is a great environment to train in.

Townsend will keep his form ahead of the Olympic trials by competing on the US circuit. “l’l swim meets here in the States in the months leading up to trials in April and I’m trying not to do too much traveling after the New Year, just focusing on training!

He’ll also be focusing on keeping warm. “December, January is the coldest time of year here by far! I kind of like it though, because the rest of the year is insanely hot!”


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