South Africa

Hill expected more qualifiers

2014-04-13 12:24
Graham Hill (Gallo Images)

Durban - Graham Hill, national coach of Swimming South Africa (SSA), has said he left the national swimming trials for the Commonwealth Games a disappointed man after the conclusion in the Kings Park pool in Durban on Saturday.

"The final night was a big disappointment as I expected at least another two or three qualifying times tonight," Hill said on Saturday.

"I thought Rene Warnes (400 individual medley) and Myles Brown (1500 freestyle) should at least have qualified as they came so close.

"I expected to have 12 swimmers overall to qualify for the Commonwealth Games, but now we only have nine."

It is going to be hard for the team to deliver the 19 medals that the swimming team achieved at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, winning eight gold, four silver and five bronze medals for a successful 2010 mission.

Hill said he was hoping that this team could produce at least nine medals as Natalie du Toit won four in the disabled events at the previous Games.

"We're not sure if we can send disabled swimmers as our swimmers do not swim in the events that will be swum at the Games but no final decisions have been made and we will sit down and have a look at who we can send," he said.

Chad le Clos and Karin Prinsloo were the stars of the trails, qualifying in nine events between the pair.

"Chad will probably swim in six events at the Games and all the relays," Hill added.

"We are sending two relays for the woman and three for the men. Even if the times were not that good I am sure the relays have good chances of winning medals at the Games."

The only problem in the 4x100 medley relay for men was the backstroke and veteran Roland Schoeman could be used in two of the relays.

"In the 4x100 medley I am looking in, perhaps to get Chad to swim the backstroke as Roland proved tonight that he can still swim 48 seconds in the 100 freestyle.

"Chad and Roland could be rested for the 4x100 freestyle relay in the morning and we could still qualify for the finals."

Despite a disappointing evening, Hill believes not all is lost for swimming.

"A lot of very experienced swimmers did retire and we are building on a new generation of youngsters.

"The only problem is to get them enough international exposure because this team will be leaving for Europe in June to do their final preparations for the Games in Europe and the others staying behind will not have the same exposure."

Provisional swimming team for the Commonwealth Games:

Men:

Chad le Clos (100 and 200 butterfly, 200 backstroke, 200 and 400 individual medley)

Dylan Bosch (200 butterfly and 200 individual medley)

Cameron van der Burgh (100 breaststroke)

Sebastien Rousseau (400 individual medley); Myles Brown (400 freestyle)

Roland Schoeman (50 freestyle)

Brad Tandy (50 freestyle).

Women:

Karin Prinsloo (100 and 200 freestyle and 100 and 200 backstroke)

Tara Nicholas (100 breaststroke).

Relays: Men:

4x100 freestyle: Chad le Clos, Brett Walsh, Leith Shanland, Caydon Muller.

4x200 freestyle: Chad le Clos, Myles Brown, Dyland Bosch, Calvyn Justus.

4x100 medley: Darren Murray, Cameron van der Burgh, Chad le Clos, Brett Walsh.

Relays: Women:

4x100 freestyle: Karin Prinsloo, Erin Gallagher, Trudi Maree, Marlies Ross.

4x100 medley: Jessica Ashleigh-Cooper, Tara Nicholas, Marne Erasmus, Karin Prinsloo.

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