Other Sport

Royal boost for SA swim team

2012-04-23 17:30
Charlene Wittstock (AP)

Johannesburg - South Africa's Olympic swimmers can expect to be treated like kings and queens while preparing for the London Games after an offer of help from a former team member turned princess.

Princess Charlene of Monaco, an ex-South Africa Olympic swimmer, has invited the swim team to camp in the principality in June for their final build-up to the games, Swimming South Africa (SSA) said on Monday.

Charlene Wittstock, who married Prince Albert of Monaco last year, will provide royal aid through training facilities and accommodation, SSA spokesperson Godfrey Monei told The Associated Press.

Details are still to be worked out, Monei said, but the princess will host the athletes for about a week around the Mare Nostrum swim meet on June 11-12.

"She said she would like to assist the team in its preparations for the Olympics," Monei said. "She will assist with facilities, maybe she will pay for accommodation for the swimmers."

The princess, 34, competed at the 2000 Games in Sydney where she was part of South Africa's 4x100 freestyle relay team that finished fifth. She met Prince Albert the same year at the Mare Nostrum, where she was competing.

Wittstock retired from competitive swimming in 2007 despite qualifying for the Beijing Olympics.

Monei said the princess had helped out some South Africans with accommodation for last year's Mare Nostrum, and she had indicated she would "definitely" help again ahead of the July 27-August 12 Olympics.

South Africa is expected to announce its final swim team for London on about May 15, after which the princess would give more details on her offer, Monei said.

South Africa's swimming federation hopes training in the glittering principality will spur its swimmers on to an improved performance in London after the country left Beijing without a medal in the pool.

Breaststroke world record holder Cameron van der Burgh and rising star and 200m butterfly short course world champion Chad le Clos are expected to lead South Africa's medal hunt.

The pair were among nine swimmers to qualify for the Olympics at the week-long South African nationals, which wrapped up on Sunday in Durban - the city where Princess Charlene used to live before marrying and taking up residence in Monte Carlo.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Most Read


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Habana believes in younger Boks
All Blacks ready for a 'hell of a battle'
Barnes to ref Boks, Wales clash
Brave Blossoms: 'Sport heroes of Japan'
Love 2 Meet

Take a photographical trip down memory lane and remind yourself of how the Springboks fared in their five previous Rugby World Cup campaigns. In addition, pick your all-time Springbok Rugby World Cup Dream Team and you could win R3 000!

Latest blogs

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.