Heerden takes a breather | SASCOC - SASCOC

Heerden takes a breather

By Mark Etheridge

Fresh from qualifying for his first Olympic Games in London later this year, Heerden Herman now plans to enjoy a few days out of the pool on terra firma and refresh both his weary body and mind!

The Stellenbosch student has fulfilled all the qualifying criteria for the 1500-metre, his speciality event and also swam an A qualifier in the 400m earlier in the week at the national swimming championships that ended in Durban on Sunday.

He went 15min 07.99sec to win the 1500m final on the last night of the championships, comfortably inside the 15:11.83 A qualifying standard. At the international meeting held in the same pool earlier in the year he qualified for the first time with a 15:06.11.

The 21-year-old product of Paul Roos Gymnasium shared with Road to London 2012, “the roller coaster of emotions he went through during the week-long Olympic qualifying event

“Well I made the full criteria for the 1500m so I’m definitely in for that! I’m super stoked and obviously its a dream come true going to the Olympics,” he said.

“But the week itself was very hard ÔÇô it was difficult swimming the very last individual race on the very last evening to secure my spot on the team so emotionally it was a pretty draining week,” he said.

The 1500m may not be Herman’s only other event and there’s talk about swimmers who made the final team being able to still swim other events that they have swum at least one qualifying time in. He clocked 3:48.57 to win the 400m final, 0.35sec inside the qualifying target.

But that’s not playing on Herman’s mind right now, he’s still digesting the week’s events.

“Emotionally it was a pretty draining week. I’m very happy with my 400m swim but the 1500m wasn’t great and I didn’t feel good at all during the race. I would have liked to go faster but in the end I’m just happy to have made it!”

The immediate future? Rest and then the resumption of training. “For the next couple of days I’ll just take it easy and then I’ll buckle down and do some hard work in preparation for London. I’ll most probably go to Europe to join the rest of the team about mid June or so.”