Olympian Karin targets Glasgow after five-medal haul | SASCOC - SASCOC

Olympian Karin targets Glasgow after five-medal haul

By Mark Etheridge

She may be jet-lagged after a lengthy continental flight back home but our Karin Prinsloo is over the moon after the BHP Billiton Super Aquatic Series in Perth, Australia at the weekend.

Freestyle specialist Prinsloo put in a powerhouse performance in Perth as she took part in no less than seven events in the course of the two-day event that saw five nations slugging it out for bragging rights.

Host nation Australia took on China, Brazil, Japan and South Africa, the last-mentioned boasting a team of both Olympians and up and coming swimmers.

The 24-year-old London Olympian, pictured right with coach Igor Omeltchenko, recorded a full house of podium places in her individual events and also got bronze in the two freestyle relay events.

In her freestyle events she placed first, second and third and also took fourth and fifth spots in her two backstroke events. That means her five medals were half of the South African squad’s medal haul.

Her gold medal came in the 200m freestyle where her 1min 57.41sec was good enough to beat Australian Bronte Barratt into silver (1:57.50). In the same race teenager Marlies Ross (16) was ninth.

“I’ve just got back this morning so am going to struggle with the jet lag this week,” Prinsloo told Road to Rio on Monday. “I broke my own SA records in the 100 and 200m free and then Wendy Trott’s record in the 400m free.”

It was the first time that Prinsloo was swimming the 400m free at international level. Her other finishing positions were second in the 400m free, third in the 100m free and then fourth in the 200m backstroke and fifth in the 100m backstroke.

Speaking of her competition, the Marble Hall swimmer said she had not started off in perfect shape. “We weren’t tapered or rested but personally I always feel more confident when we’re still in harder training. Plus I trained in December and over the Christmas period as well.”

Prinsloo was also suffering from the heartbreak of a romantic break-up but did acknowledge that some good had come from the relationship disappointment. “I lost a lot of weight which helped me in the water!”

She was also making up for lost time after injury. “I had a groin injury and wan’t allowed to kick for six weeks so that in turn forced me to work on my freestyle catch and to start bending the elbow because until that point I was dropping my elbow and didn’t really pull myself through the water.

“So I think the combination of things worked out well for me. My take on it is that God didn’t send the storms (injury and heartbreak) but used it to accomplish his goal.”

Coach Omeltchenko is Prinsloo’s long time coach. “I’m very happy with him and he believes I can go a lot faster.”

Next up for the buoyant blonde are senior nationals, “and I’m definitely aiming for Commonwealth.”

The host nation took the overall team honours with 629 points ahead of Japan (523), China (423), South Africa (332) and Brazil (230).