The talent and spectacular performances continued to impress during the Durban leg of the South African Swimming Grand Prix at the Kings Park Aquatics Centre on Saturday. There was no stopping Olympians Chad Le Clos and Cameron Van Der Burgh as they both walked away with two gold medals during the first finals session today. Van Der Burgh grabbed the gold in the 50 and 200m breaststroke events in 27.74 and 2:16.31 respectively, while Jarred Crous managed a second place finish in the 50m in 28.17 and won the bronze in the 200m race in 2:17.83.
Le Clos’ fine form proved too good for the opposition in the 50 and 200m butterfly as he won both events in 24.64 and 1:56.42, respectively. Douglas Erasmus and Nico Meyer took the silver and bronze in the 50m event in 24.80 and 24.95, while Brendan Levy and Dayne Odendaal were second and third in the 200m category in 2:02.59 and 2:04.11, respectively. Erasmus also made his way to the medal podium in the 100m freestyle, where he won silver in 50.82 ahead of Caydon Muller (50.95) and behind Calvyn Justus (50.66)
The surprise of the competition came from youngster Mariella Venter (16), who edged out Nathania Van Niekerk in both the 50 and 200m backstroke. Venter touched the wall in a fast 29.43 to Van Niekerk’s 30.11 in the 50m and 2:12.92 to 2:16.09 in the 200m race respectively. In the 800m freestyle and 200m individual medley, 15 year old Kate Beavon came out tops in 8:54.89 and 2:21.66 respectively.
The silver and bronze in the 200m individual medley went to Rebecca Meder in 2:23.22 and Gabi Grobler in 2:23.24, while the 800m freestyle second and third place were claimed by Carmen Le Roux in 9:01.14 and Samantha Randle in 9:07.72 respectively. Karin Prinsloo scooped the gold in the 200m freestyle in 2:03.53, with Rene Warnes finishing second in 2:05.73 and Kristin Bellingan third in 2:07.67. Prinsloo also claimed the bronze in the 200m backstroke in 2:18.90.
Vanessa Mohr was victorious in the 100m butterfly in 1:01.17 with Jessica Ashley-Cooper coming in second in 1:01.89 and Rene Warnes third in 1:03.88, while Ashley-Cooper also won the 50m freestyle in 26.13 as Mohr managed a third place finish in 26.88. In the 400m individual medley, Jarryn Baxter won the title in 4:27.78, ahead of Jordan Le Clos in 4:36.77 and Damian Muller in 4:38.56. Baxter also went on to win the bronze medal in the 400m freestyle in 3:58.02.
In the 100m breaststroke, Tatjana Schoenmaker won the gold in 1:09.93, with the second and third place going to Kaylene Corbett in 1:10.30 and Hanim Abrahams in 1:12.49, while the 100m backstroke title went to Ricky Ellis in 56.90, ahead of Neil De Villiers in 57.15 and Jacques Van Wyk in 57.31. The Durban leg of the SA Swimming Grand Prix concludes tomorrow with the finals starting at 12:00, while the heats session will be held at 19:00 today.
Photo credit: WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN / SASPA