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Townsend takes four medals in Berlin World Cup

By Mark Etheridge

Three-time Olympian Darian Townsend wrapped up the Berlin leg of the Fina World Cup swimming series with another two medals on Sunday.

That saw his weekend’s work worth four medals after he took two bronzes on Saturday.

Sunday’s success came in the 200-metre Individual Medley (1min 53.44sec) while he took bronze in the 200m freestyle (1:42.79). The previous day saw him swimming to bronze in the 100m freestyle and 100m IM.

He now heads back to his United States base of Arizona, wherafter it’s off to the Far East for three meetings in Beijing, Tokyo and Singapore.

Only other South African in action at the weekend was Neil Versfeld who took fifth in the men’s 100m breaststroke final (58.95sec).

The final major meeting of the year are the Fina World Cup short-course championships in Istanbul, Turkey in December but at this stage Townsend is not sure whether he’ll be taking part.

“I haven’t decided if I will swim world SC Champs in December yet. I’m leaning towards not going. I may go to a SC meet in Russia late December instead. But other than that I will be based in the US training and coaching.

“I’ve been really happy with my times and performances so far. It feels good to be healthy again and without injury. I trained pretty hard after London to get in shape for these world cups and it seems to be paying off!”

Townsend was part of Team South Africa at the London Olympics and can feel he needs a break. “I’d like to take break from the international scene after the Asian meets. I didn’t really get a break after London so I’m looking forward to relaxing at some point.”

And the big question ÔÇô will the 28-year-old still be around for the next Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. “I can definitely go to another Olympics, but I won’t decide on that for sure till a lot closer to the time. Physically and mentally though I can definitely do another one!”


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