Le Clos closer to qualifying
Durban - Chad le Clos has edged closer towards securing qualification for a second event at the upcoming Olympic Games in London.
The 20-year-old swam a time of one minute, 01.90 seconds in his 200-metres butterfly heat on day three of the SA National Swimming Championships and Olympic Trials in Durban on Wednesday.
The evening semi-finals now await.
Le Clos, who is guaranteed a place at the Games after swimming an A-standard time in Monday’s 400m Individual Medley final, was second quickest behind Sebastien Rousseau (2:00.80) with Pierre de Waal (2:02.60) third.
Elsewhere, Heerden Herman, who brought the Kings Park Pool to life with a qualifying time in the 400m freestyle final earlier in the week, was quickest in the 800m-freestyle with a time of 8:00.65. The race is a non-Olympic event.
The Western Province swimmer’s main focus this week, though, is the 1 500m freestyle, a race he already has an A-standard time in.
Like Le Clos, on the women’s side Kathryn Meaklim has already booked her ticket to London, in the 400m individual medley.
She looked relaxed in her 200m individual medley heat and came through as the quickest qualifier in 2:17.65.
Karin Prinsloo was the quickest qualifier for the 200m freestyle semis after recording 1:59.86, finishing ahead of Leone Vorster (2:03.21) and Jessica Pengelly (2:04.34).
Wendy Trott, who has a qualifying time in the 800m freestyle, also booked a spot in the semis after coming through 11th fastest in 2:06.38.
The win continued the good preparation for Northern Tigers swimmer Prinsloo, whose main event this week is the 200m backstroke - which she already has an A-standard time in - although she needs to do it again in the final on Sunday.
The SA Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) requires all its Olympic hopefuls to swim below the qualifying time twice, including once this week, if they want to secure a place in the London team.
Twelve athletes came into the week with A-standard times, with four of them - Meaklim, Le Clos, Riaan Schoeman and Cameron van der Burgh - fulfilling the requirements so far.
There has been one disappointment, though, after teenager Vanessa Mohr missed the time on her way to winning the 100m butterfly crown on Tuesday.