Riaan: 'It's incredible' | SASCOC - SASCOC

Riaan: ‘It’s incredible’

By Mark Etheridge

Riaan Schoeman was understandably a happy man after he nailed another Olympic qualifying time for the 400-metre Individual Medley at the national swimming championships in Durban on Monday evening.

The home town boy was hard on fellow Durbanite Chad le Clos’ heels in the final as Le Clos won in 4min 13.86sec and Schoeman sealed silver in 4:15.60. The Olympic A standard qualifying time is 4:16.45.

Schoeman, 22, first qualified at the recent international meeting, swum in the same pool used for this year’s Olympic trials. On that occasion he swam a 4:16.02.

The former Midmar Mile winner was jubilant after his second qualifying swim. “It’s an incredible feeling, I have been working so hard for this and to achieve the qualifying time really means a lot to me, my coach, my family and friends. It was a really awesome race ÔÇô Chad went out really hard and I was trying to catch up the whole way and hats off to him for getting the win, its great to have him on the team as well.

“Looking ahead I know what I need to work on and I will be entering a intense phase of training, and hopefully I will be able to do better than I did in Beijing.”

Schoeman failed to progress past the preliminary stages at the 2008 Olympics, clocking 4:14:09 but this time out, as he says, knows what it takes to get that much further.