Impressive Performances At SA National Short Course Championships

There was plenty of action at the JC Joliffe Swimming Pool in Pietermaritzburg, as SA’s elite and rising talent continue to impress at the SA National Short Course Championships on Friday night.  Olympian Chad le Clos kick started his FINA World Championships campaign by finishing fastest in both the 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly semi-finals, clocking 47.71 and 51.05 respectively.  In the 100m backstroke, Neil De Villiers led the troop with a time of 53.61 ahead of Marno Langeveldt in 54.14 and Martin Binedell in 55.72.  De Villiers also qualified first in the 100m individual medley event in 56.15.

In a tight 50m butterfly race, Douglas Erasmus scooped the gold in 24.41, while Nico Meyer finished second in 24.46 and Daniel Ronaldson third in 24.50.  Franco Van Niekerk walked away with the gold in the 800m freestyle in 8:44.48, while Dante Nortje took the silver in 8:52.65 and Matthew Bevan the bronze in 9:01.35.

 On the women’s side, golden girl Karin Prinsloo won the 100m backstroke with a time of 1:00.69 to Nathania Van Niekerk’s 1:01.19 and Marlies Ross’ 1:03.37. 

Prinsloo has also qualified for tomorrow’s final of the 100m freestyle behind Erin Gallagher.  18-year old Michelle Weber, who is also preparing for the Open Water leg of the FINA World Championships, did not disappoint after she won the 800m freestyle in 8:48.35 ahead of Michee Van Rooyen (8:55.33) and Rebecca Meder (9:02.19).  Jamie Reynolds claimed the gold in the 50m breaststroke race with a time of 32.34, while Marlies Ross came first in the 200m breaststroke in 2:28.90.

Jolandi Els and Vanessa Mohr both ended fastest in their respective semi-final events.  Els clocking 1:04.22 in the 100m individual medley and Mohr 26.80 in the 50m butterfly, while Jarred Crous booked his place in the 100m breaststroke final after finishing first in tonight’s semi-final with a time of 1:01.58.  In the relay events, the TUKs teams continued to dominate, winning all four races.

The women’s 4 x 100m freestyle team of Karin Prinsloo, Marlies Ross, Camryn Wheals and Dune Coetzee won in 3:52.16, while Prinsloo and Ross joined Vanessa Mohr and Tilka Paljk to claim the 4 x 50m medley title in 1:56.60.  On the men’s side Douglas Erasmus, Armand Maritz, Byron Doyle and Martin Binedell won the 4 x 50m freestyle relay, while Erasmus and Doyle won gold with Neil De Villiers and Jarred Crous in the 4 x 50m medley relay in 1:41.55.  In the multi-disability events, Garth Willmore (S1 – 13) was victorious on two occasions in both the 50m freestyle in 33.03 and the 100m backstroke in 1:35.39, while Aaron Putz (S14 – 15) won three gold medals in the 50m freestyle (28.26), the 50m butterfly (31.19) and the 100m backstroke (1:10.25).

Winning the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly (S14 – 15) events, Cornell Loubser was happy with her fast times of 29.06 and 30.19 respectively.  Alani Ferreira (S1 – 13) took the gold in the 50m butterfly in 37.29, and came second to Shireen Sapiro (1:11.01) in the 100m backstroke with a time of 1:23.52.  The day 03 heats begin at 09:00 while the finals will start at 16:00.

Photo credit: WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN / SASPA