- Ellis: ‘We never gave up and kept playing and fighting’
- Garlicki keen to get going on home turf
- Blitzbok speedsters gearing up for Wellington action
- Banyana go down 2-0 to France in Reunion
- Birkett and Solms wrap up Drak Challenge wins
- Park posts her maiden Sunshine Tour victory
- White-hot racing as McGregor, Solms lead Drak
- Ellis urges Banyana players to show off their talents
- Mokoka makes Marathon Majors debut in Tokyo
- Park’s 68 puts her two shots clear at SA Masters
SA swim duo fine-tuning their game before getting to Rio
- Updated: July 12, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
As splashdown at the Rio Olympics gets closer South Africa’s swimmers are quietly honing their skills before hitting the fast lane.
One of them, Jarred Crous, jetted off to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to wrap up his preparations while in the United States, Christopher Reid was wrapping up his studies in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Crous, pictured above, comes off a confidence-boosting European tour and the 2014 Youth Olympian shared some thoughts with Road to Rio 2016.
‘In Monaco I did pretty well with one gold for the 50-metre breaststroke, and silvers for the 100 and 200m breast. I also did a personal best time of 2min 10.80sec in the heats in Monaco so I was very happy with that.
‘Our next stop was Canet. I was quite happy with my times there, managing to make both finals and my times weren’t too bad. I came third in the 200 breast with a time of 2:11.67. Then we moved to Barcelona and although I was quite tired from all the racing but I couldn’t let it affect my racing.
‘I managed to make the final in the 100 and 200 breast. Racing against some of the fastest in the world I went 1:01 for the 100 and managed to go 2:11 in the final and placed fourth.
‘We then went to Pesaro, Italy where we had a really tough two weeks of training and then raced. I managed to win all three breaststroke events. Our last stop was in Treviso, Italy where I got one silver in the 50 breast.
‘Fortunately I won both the 100 and 200 and was very happy with my results, especially with all of the training we have been doing and all the the mileage.’
And he’s in a good frame of mind as the Olympics get ever closer.
‘I’m feeling very confident in my swimming at the moment. Obviously racing well always makes you feel better. I’ve just left on Fort Lauderdale where I start my taper. Since Mara Nostrum we have just been training incredibly hard. I’ve been pushing myself to as hard as I can every session, so nothing has become easier. But I know it’s all going to be worth it.
‘I’ve felt quite an improvement since nationals. Especially the way I race my 200. And I’m able to swim 2:11 or 2:12 comfortably now, where before nationals I hadn’t even gone under 2:14. So I’m very happy with that.’
Has he even begun to start getting his mind around specific target times?
‘No, whenever I compete. I try not think about times. It messes up your mind. I just go in and do what I have trained for.
‘But I do agree with Cameron van der Burgh when he says that to win the 200 is definitely going to be a world record swim.’
Meanwhile backstroker Reid, pictured right, is in relaxed mood in the US.
‘I haven’t been doing too much recently in terms of racing,’ he told Road to Rio 2016.
‘I went to a small meet a month ago but it was a purely training-basis meeting. I’ve just been stuck in Tuscaloosa and training.
‘Other than me just doing activities to take my mind off Rio, I’ve just been enjoying summer.
‘I finished school last week so now I’m able to do what I want.
‘Everything is going well, I’ve had had exceptional gains in the weight room, and I’ve been putting up life time best for training. So I’m expecting some big things heading my way hopefully.’