The 16th FINA World Championships is an event that marks the beginning of the South African Aquatic team’s preparations for the Olympic Games next year and Russia’s Kazan will set the scene for fast times from the 24th of July to the 9th of August as SA’s finest take to the water. Michelle Weber, Clarice Le Roux, Chad Ho and Daniel Marais will be the first to compete in the 5km Open Water events taking place on 25th July at the Kazanka Venue, followed by the men’s 10km race on 27th July where Ho and Marais will once again strive for fast times. Weber will also feature in the ladies 10km alongside teammate Carmen Le Roux on 28th July, while Nicolaos Manoussakis will conclude the Open Water category with the 25km race on 1st August.
The ladies Water Polo team will begin their campaign against the Netherlands on 26th July followed by matches against Australia and Greece. On the men’s side, SA’s own will kick start the competition against Argentina on 27th July and continue with matches against Hungary and Kazakhstan. Kerry-Beth Norden, Emma Manners Wood, Laura Strugnell and Courtney Musson will be making a splash in the Synchro section from 25th July to 1st August, while Nicole Gillis, Julia Vincent, Jaimee Gundry and Micaela Bouter will represent SA in the Diving category until 2nd August.
A strong team of five swimmers will form part of this very important competition when they take to the water in the build-up to the Olympic Games in Rio next year. The swimming programme begins on the 2nd of August, with Olympic gold medalist Chad Le Clos being among the first in the water in the 50m butterfly as well as Myles Brown in the 400m freestyle. The swimming team also includes the likes of Breaststrokers Cameron Van Der Burgh and 22 year old Ayton Sweeney, as well as Sebastien Rousseau who will swim the 200m butterfly with Le Clos and the 400m individual medley.
Swimming SA High Performance Manager Dean Price says: ‘Our team has had a good build up in Europe and now it is time for rest and final preparation. We look forward to seeing the performances in Kazan and believe it will be a fast competition and our swimmers are ready to perform.’ In wishing the national team the best of luck for Kazan, Swimming SA CEO Shaun Adriaanse says: ‘The FINA World Championships is an important milestone for our athletes on their way to Rio 2016. They will measure themselves against the world’s best and gauge where they are and what they need to do to be ready for the Olympic Games next year.’
Photo credit: WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN / SASPA