The race is on for South Africa’s aquatic stars as they swim against the clock to post qualifying times when the SA National Aquatic Championships, doubling as the official Commonwealth Games Trials, takes place at the Kings Park Aquatics Centre in Durban, from 7 – 12 April 2014. This year’s event is a make or break for swimmers as they will be striving to secure a place in the final team that will be selected to represent SA in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow from 27th July to 3rd August. Olympic gold medallists Chad Le Clos and Cameron Van Der Burgh will once again be the highlight of the competition.
Le Clos will feature in an impressive seven Olympic races, including the 100 and 200 metre butterfly, the 100 and 200 metre freestyle, the 200 and 400 metre individual medley as well as the 200 metre backstroke where he will be up against Darren Murray. Van Der Burgh and new-comer Brad Tandy will be in it to win it in the 100 metre breaststroke race, both posting a close entry time of 58.97 and 1:00.65 respectfully. Other contenders include the likes of veteran Olympian Roland Schoeman, who will be swimming in the 50 metre freestyle as well as Myles Brown in the 200, 400 and 1 500 metre freestyle.
This year’s competition will also see a return for Sebastien Rousseau, who will compete in the 200 metre butterfly, the 200 and 400 metre individual medley, the 200m freestyle and the 200 metre backstroke. On the ladies side, 24 year-old Karin Prinsloo will be looking to make a splash when she takes to the water in the 100, 200 and 400 metre freestyle as well as the 100 and 200 metre backstroke races, while Michelle Weber will strive for fast times in her long-distance 800 and 1 500 metre freestyle events. Jessica Ashley-Cooper and Trudi Maree will battle it out in the 50 metre freestyle, while Ashley-Cooper will also swim in the 100 and 200 metre backstroke.
The six day event will also include the multi-disability races, which will feature the likes of Paralymians Kevin Paul, Charl Bouwer, Challis Wright, Hendri Herbst and Craig Groenewald. The SA National Aquatic Championships begin on Monday, 7th April and conclude on Saturday, 12th April 2014 with the heats starting at 09:30 while the finals will begin at 18:00 daily.