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Chad, Riaan cruise in

Two of our Olympic qualifiers, Chad le Clos and Riaan Schoeman, safely negotiated their way through the morning heats in the men’s 200-metre individual medley at the SA Swimming Championships in Durban on Friday.

The pair, who have already assured themselves of tickets to London in the 400m Individual Medley, swam times of 2min 07.41sec and 2:07.81 respectively, though both were far slower than Sebastien Rousseau who set the fastest time of 2:04.81, reports Sapa.

Athens relay gold medallist Darian Townsend also qualified after strolling through his heat in 2:07.67.

Rousseau and Townsend have had largely disappointing weeks thus far after missing out on London qualification in their other events, the 200m butterfly and 200m freestyle respectively.

They are the only two swimmers to have already recorded A-standard times in the 200m IM prior to the national championships, though they need to do it again in the final to meet the stringent qualifying criteria for the London Games.

Earlier, Charl Crous and Schoeman qualified comfortably for the 200m backstroke semis by finishing second and ninth quickest respectively.

Durbanite Crous, who brought the Kings Park Pool to its feet this week when he recorded A-standard times in the semi-final and final of the 100m backstroke, finished in 2:05.11 in the longer event, marginally slower than Martin Binedell who touched the wall in 2:05.02.

Schoeman, who booked his pass to London on Monday, swam through in 2:07.69.

On the women’s side, Kathryn Meaklim was made to work a little harder than usual on her way to the next round of the 200m breaststroke.

Having booked her place at the Games in the 400m IM earlier in the week, the KwaZulu-Natal swimmer was only 11th fastest in 2:40.61 as she made it through behind fastest qualifier Suzaan van Biljon (2:33.83).

Karin Prinsloo was the quickest 100m freestyle qualifier after topping the heats with a 55.64 performance.


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