Loots on form in Durban
Durban - Veteran Mandy Loots led the way in
the morning session on the opening day of the SA Swimming Championships
and Olympic trials in Durban on Monday, breezing through her heat in the
women's 100 metres butterfly event.
The 33-year-old, a
three-time Olympian, has yet to secure an A-standard qualifying time for
the London Games, and is one of several athletes on the fringes, though
this week presents the final opportunity for all of them.
clocked one minute, 0.50 seconds (1:00.50) to book her place as the
fastest qualifier, ahead of Marne Erasmus (1:01.32) and Vanessa Mohr
Mohr is one of 12 swimmers at the meet who have
already completed the first part of a stringent policy that requires
them to record the A-standard time twice during a 10-month period,
including once this week.
Among the others, Sebastien Rousseau,
Chad le Clos and Riaan Schoeman all came through their heats in the 400m
Rousseau, who has reached A-standard times in
the 200m butterfly and 200m IM, was quickest overall, finishing his
heat in 4:17.83 to book his place in the evening final.
Clos, one of the country’s fastest rising stars, and Schoeman had
already met the qualifying standard for the event, and they finished
second and fourth in times of 4:26.86 and 4:28.25 respectively.
specialist Cameron van der Burgh was the quickest qualifier in the 100m
breaststroke, a race in which he has already met the standard, coming
through in 1:01.20, while Mark Randall from Border was the fastest 400m
freestyle qualifier in 3:54.79.
Kathryn Meaklim, who has an
A-standard time to her name in the women’s 400m IM, easily qualified for
the final in the same event in 4:43.60.
Wendy Trott, also with
an A-time but in the 800m freestyle, will be in the same final after
qualifying sixth quickest in 5:02.63.
In the Paralympic
qualifying categories, South Africa’s most famous disabled swimmer,
Natalie du Toit, was one of four athletes to record A-standard times.
were three in one race, the women's 100m backstroke, with Du Toit
clocking 1:14.69 in the S9 class, Shireen Sapiro (S10) finishing in
1:11.30 and Emily Gray (S9) touching the wall in 1:17.27.
The fourth qualifying time came in the same event, but in the S13 class, with Charl Bouwer recording 1:06.99.
Toit had picked up her first medal of the national aquatics
championships on Sunday, winning the women's able-bodied 10km open water
title in two hours, nine minutes, 42 seconds (2:09.42).
Prinsloo won the men's 10km crown in 1:57.01, while Chad Ho (56:43) and
Michelle Webber (1:01.55) secured gold in the men's and women's 5km