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Another Games qualifying time for Le Clos in Durban
- Updated: April 13, 2016
Birthday boy Chad le Clos led the way on Tuesday as the Olympic and Paralympic Qualification short list continued to grow on the third night of swimming action at the SA National Aquatic Championships in Durban.
It was a close finish between 24-year-old Le Clos and Myles Brown in the final of the 200-metre freestyle but Le Clos came out on top to confirm his Olympic Qualification time with a golden 1min 47.75sec, while the silver medal went to Brown in 1:48.29 and bronze to Egypt’s Marwan Elkamash in 1:48.34.
Le Clos’ second Olympic Qualification time came in the 200m butterfly semi-finals, where he led the pack from start to finish and posted a fast 1:55.61 (qualifying requirement 1:56.97), while Sebastien Rousseau was a close second in 1:57.60. The final of the event will take place on Wednesday.
The phenomenal performances continued with Christopher Reid, who raced to the gold and an Olympic qualification time of 54.02 in the 100m backstroke finals, followed by Zane Waddell in 56.09 and Jacques van Wyk in 56.25. On Monday, Reid had already swum a qualifying time when he posted an SA record 53.23sec in the heats.
He told Road to Rio 2016: ‘It’s great to finally get my first national title! After standing up and delivering three big performance, I’m pretty tired right now.
‘But, I’m not done yet. I still have the 200 backstroke tomorrow where I’m looking to qualify. Don’t really know what to expect, so I’m just going in open-minded and going to have fun.
‘And who knows about the relay. It’s still in discussions with the SA coaches. So we will see what’ll happen.’
The Championships are still awaiting the first women’s qualifier but 2012 Olympian Karin Prinsloo (pictured above) came a step closer to making the Qualifying Time of 1:58.96 in the 200m freestyle, when she won the semi-finals in 2:00.96 ahead of Kristin Bellingan in 2:04.98 and Caitlin Kat in 2:05.59.
The 200m individual medley semi-finals saw Marlies Ross, Kirsty McLauchlan and Gabi Grobler take the top three positions in 2:16.17, 2:19.29 and 2:21.61, respectively. The final will be held on Wednesday.
In the 100m backstroke final, Mariella Venter walked away with the title in 1:01.32, with Nathania van Niekerk in second, clocking 1:02.41 and Jessica Ashley-Cooper third in 1:02.46, while the 100m breaststroke gold was claimed by Tatjana Schoenmaker in 1:09.17 (roughly a second off qualifying time) ahead of Franko Jonker in 1:09.24 and Tara Nicholas in 1:09.30.
With five athletes having already swum eight Paralympic Qualifying Times to date, Shireen Sapiro (S10) and Emily Gray (S9) also added their names to the short list to Rio by improving on their heat times to finish the 100m backstroke in 1:11.87 and 1:17.17, dipping under the QT’s of 1:13.40 and 1:17.70, respectively.
Gray told Road to Rio 2016: ‘It was a good swim and am chuffed I got the MQS but there is still much to work on in the next five months of preparation.
‘I also qualified in the 400 free on Monday in the abled-bodied heats so I’m so happy I bagged that time! I have the 100 free on Thursday and 50 free on Friday and I’m hoping to qualify in those two as well!‘
Hendri Herbst posted his first Paralympic Qualification time in the S11 100m backstroke, claiming gold in 1:16.84, while Craig Groenewald won the S14 and S15 event in 1:09.50, with Aaron Putz coming in second in 1:11.39 and Challis Wright third in 1:11.66. ‘Won gold for the 100m back tonight, with a Paralympic qualifying time. Was hoping for faster but under the circumstances I’m happy for now,’ was Herbst’s summing up of his display on his Facebook page.
Christelle Kriel just missed out on the Paralympic Qualification time in the S14 and S15 100m backstroke, when she finished with a time of 1:16.40 (inside the the required 1:16.23, while Michaela Kretzen took the silver in 1:26.18 and Maritza Snyders the bronze in 1:31.36.
The staging of this event has been made possible through the support provided by Swimming SA partners, Sport and Recreation South Africa, SASCOC, National Lotteries Commission, Arena, Rand Water and the SABC.
Main picture of birthday boy Le Clos celebrating his 200m free victory courtesy of Anesh Debiky/Swim SA
Olympic Qualifying Times after day three action:
Sebastien Rousseau – 400m individual medley – 4:14.75
Michael Meyer – 400m individual medley – 4:15.71
Myles Brown – 400m freestyle – 3:48.86
Cameron van der Burgh – 100m breaststroke – 59.66
Christopher Reid – 100m backstroke – 54.02
Chad le Clos – 200m freestyle – 1:47.75
Chad le Clos – 200m butterfly (SF) – 1:55.61
Paralympic Qualifying Times
Kevin Paul (SM10) – 200m individual medley – 2:15.78
Kevin Paul (SB9) – 100m breaststroke – 1:05.10
Johann van Heerden (SB9) – 100m breaststroke – 1:12.64
Alani Ferreira (SM13) – 200m individual medley – 2:50.43
Alani Ferreira (S13) – 400m freestyle – 5:21.00 (heats)
Alani Ferreira (SB13) – 100m breaststroke – 1:26.90
Emily Gray (S9) – 400m freestyle – 5:05.36 (heats)
Emily Gray (S10) – 100m backstroke – 1:17.17
Craig Groenewald (SB14) – 100m breaststroke – 1:12.33
Hendri Herbst (S11) – 100m backstroke – 1:16.84
Shireen Sapiro (S10) – 100m backstroke – 1:11.87