Herman, Trott off to London
Heerden Herman (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Heerden Herman and Wendy Trott confirmed their qualification for the London Olympics on Sunday, with A-standard times on the final day of the South African National Swimming Championships in Durban.
Herman won the 1500m freestyle title in 15 minutes 07.99 seconds, well inside the 15:11.83 qualifying time as he was a clear winner over Mark Randall (15:27.38) and Myles Brown (15:31.68).
Trott claimed the 800m title after a time of 8:30.61 with both Western Province swimmers guaranteeing their selection after having previously swum A-standard times in their respective races.
The qualifying criteria requires all the country's Olympic hopefuls to swim below the standards twice during a 10-month period, including once this week.
“I wasn’t feeling as good as I’d hoped, but in the end I was just happy to get the time,” Herman said.
“Obviously that has secured my place on the team now and it’s a massive relief to have done it.”
Trott was over 10 seconds clear of second-placed Jessica Pengelly (8:41.40) and Michelle Weber (8:44.10).
“I would have liked to have gone faster, but my only goal here was to make the team and I’ve done that,” she said.
"I’m really happy with the performance.”
Elsewhere, there was slight disappointment for Chad le Clos after his splendid week ended on somewhat of a low considering the standards he set over the past seven days.
The KwaZulu-Natal swimmer, bidding to swim four events in London, won the 100m butterfly title in 52.45.
However, his time failed to breach the qualifying mark of 52.36 as he ended ahead of Dylan Bosch (53.89) and Neil Watson (54.43).
Karin Prinsloo also guaranteed her selection for London when she won the 200m backstroke title in 2:10.76.
It was the second successive night that she had dipped below the A-standard mark of 2:10.84, but she still needed to end in the top two to guarantee selection.
“I was feeling better than yesterday to be honest, I think I was more relaxed than I was last night,” Prinsloo said.
“I’m just happy to have swum the time again.” “It’s been a long week, but I’m satisfied what I’ve achieved.”
Jessica Ashley-Cooper was a distant second in 2:16.53 with Nathania van Niekerk (2:16.97) third.
Roland Schoeman was the 50m freestyle winner, though his time of 22.23 was outside the A-standard time as he edged out Brad Tandy (22.35) and Gideon Louw (22.45).
The veteran Olympic medallist did make the 22.11 required time in the semi-final, which he won in 22.08.
There was also disappointment for Graeme Moore (23.00), who blew his last chance to qualify for the Games.
In the 50m distance for women, Western Province swimmer Trudi Maree was crowned champion after recording 25.38, just 11 hundredths of a second outside the A-standard time.
Lehesta Kemp (26.17) took second, while bronze went to Prinsloo (26.26).
The non-Olympic finals were won by Warren Karsten (29.10) in the men’s 50m breaststroke, with the women’s crown taken by Suzaan van Biljon (32.61).
The 50m butterfly titles went to Watson (24.31) in the male race and the female race won by Vanessa Mohr (26.53).
Finally, the 50m backstroke titles were taken by Charl Crous (25.66) in the men’s race and the women’s gold going to Sophie Edington (28.82).