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Cameron, Karin, shine

By Mark Etheridge

Cameron van der Burgh and Karin Prinsloo kept the South African flag flying high at Saturday’s opening day of the Mare Nostrum swimming competition in Spain.

Seven of our top swimmers jetted off for Spain this week where they’ll take part in the Mare Nostrum series that moves on to France and Monaco after this weekend.

Van der Burgh has had his fair share of heartbreak in recent months with the death of close friend and Norway’s Olympic silver medallist Alex Oen as well as having most of his top medals and swimming memorabilia stolen from a break-in at his house in Pretoria.

But he’ll be all smiles after a 59.73-second win in the 100-metre breaststroke on Saturday.

That’s only the fourth fastest time of the year but it must be remembered that Van der Burgh last raced in April and has been logging up big miles in the pool. It’s also his fastest of the year, ahead of the 59.90 he swam at nationals in Durban.

His time was a championship record at the event, also known as the 33e Trofeu Internacional Ciutat de Barcelona de Natacio 2012. Mare Nostrum is way less of a mouthful.

Both Van der Burgh and Prinsloo, also from Pretoria, have sealed their spot on Team South Africa for the Olympics.

And Prinsloo would have been all smiles too as she blitzed a silver medal in the 100m backstroke. That would have been reason enough to smile but the 22-year-old’s big grin would have been the fact that she swam a South African record of 1:01.02.

In the men’s 50m backstroke final, Charl Crous took fourth. Focusing on the 100m at the Olympics Crous clocked 25.53 on Saturday. He also took eighth in the 200m back.

Like Crous, Kathryn Meaklim is another who has qualified for London and she took sixth in her main event, the 400m Individual Medley, in 4:44.19, on the slow side of what she’s normally accustomed to swim.


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