South Africa

Le Clos' eight-title bid ends

2014-04-09 21:47
Chad le Clos (Gallo Images)

Durban - Chad le Clos saw his bid to win eight individual titles at the South African Aquatic Championships come to an end, while Karin Prinsloo was in sensational form after setting two records in Durban on Wednesday.

On a night when four Commonwealth Games qualifying times were met, there was joy for golden boy Le Clos when he won one of the more unfamiliar of his events, the 200 metres backstroke.

He turned out a time of one minute, 57.93 seconds (1:57.93) -- just inside the 1.58:48 qualifying time -- but he then missed out in the 50m butterfly to Roland Schoeman.

The veteran won the pool-length dash at the Kings Park Aquatics Centre in a time of 23.11 seconds, with Le Clos coming a close second in 23.86, while Ryan Coetzee came in third following a time of 24.28.

"It would have taken a miracle for me to beat Roland," Le Clos said afterwards.

"I knew that at the beginning and in all honesty, he was just very good."

In the backstroke event he was well ahead of Darren Murray (1:59.68) and Christopher Reid (2:00.58).

"I was really happy with that [200m backstroke victory]. It was a good time for me considering I was just really tired."

Le Clos was also third fastest in the 100m freestyle semi-finals with a time of 50.59 seconds behind Leith Shankland (50.23) and Caydon Muller (50.43).

Another of the qualifying times came from Cameron van der Burgh, who won his 100m breaststroke in 59.50 seconds, comfortably inside the standard of 1:00.86.

Giulio Zorzi (1:02.31) was second and Marko Visser (1:02.64) took the bronze.

"I'm happy with that, it's my personal best here [at nationals] by far," Van der Burgh, the Olympic champion in the event, said.

"There's still a lot of things I need to improve on, but for now I'm happy to have achieved my time."

Meanwhile, Prinsloo matched her African and South African record on her way to 100m freestyle gold, while she broke her own national record in the 100m backstroke with times of 54.48 and 1:00.81 respectively.

The 24-year-old was full of emotion afterwards, saying it came as a bit of a surprise to have set such impressive times in two races.

"I'm so thrilled because I honestly wasn't expecting to qualify for both," she said.

"2013 was very tough for me mentally and physically, so I'm really grateful to have to done it twice tonight."

Erin Gallagher (56.70) and Trudi Maree (56.84) followed Prinsloo in second and third in the freestyle, which had a qualifying time of 54.86 seconds.

Jessica Ashley-Cooper (1:01.65) took the silver with Nathania van Niekerk (1:03.34) taking bronze in the breaststroke -- the time required was 1:01.39.

Elsewhere among the women, Franko Jonker took the 200m breaststroke in a time of 2:28.66, although she missed out on the 2.27:88 time for Glasgow.

Justine Macfarlane (2:28.74) was second and Tatjana Schoenmaker (2:29.18) third.

All swimmers must record the stipulated qualifying times at this week's nationals, which is doubling up as the official qualification event for Commonwealth Games, if they want to have a chance of making the South African team.

Results from the evening session on day three of the South African Aquatic Championships at Kings Park, in Durban, on Wednesday:

Men's 200 metres backstroke (Commonwealth Games Qualifying Time 1.58:48):
1. Chad le Clos 1:57.93*
2. Darren Murray 1:59.68
3. Christopher Reid 2:00.58

Men's 100 metres freestyle semi-final 1 (CGQT 54.86):
1. Leith Shankland 50.23
2. Chad le Clos 50.59
3. Jacques van Wyk 50.82

Men's 100 metres freestyle semi-final 2:
1. Caydon Muller 50.43
2. Joshua Steyn 50.74
3. Calvyn Justus 50.90

Men's 50 metres butterfly:
1. Roland Schoeman 23.11
2. Chad le Clos 23.86
3. Ryan Coetzee 24.28

Men's 100 metres breaststroke (CGQT 1.00:86):
1. Cameron van der Burgh 59.50*
2. Giulio Zorzi 1:02.31
3. Marko Visser 1:02.64

Women's 100 metres freestyle (CGQT 54.86):
1. Karin Prinsloo 54.48*
2. Erin Gallagher 56.70
3. Trudi Maree 56.84

Women's 100 metres butterfly semi-final 1 (CGQT 58.89):
1. Vanessa Mohr 1:00.77
2. Bailey Desmarais 1:02.91
3. Tarryn Els 1:03.05

Women's 100 metres butterfly semi-final 2:
1. Marne Erasmus 59.72
2. Rene Warnes 1:02.14
3. Rita Naude 1:02.71

Women's 200 metres breaststroke (CGQT 2.27:88):
1. Franko Jonker 2:28.66
2. Justine Macfarlane 2:28.74
3. Tatjana Schoenmaker 2:29.18

Women's 100 metres backstroke (CGQT 1.01:39):
1. Karin Prinsloo 1:00.81*
2. Jessica Ashley-Cooper 1:01.65
3. Nathania van Niekerk 1:03.34

*Denotes Commonwealth Games qualifying time

Read more on:    durban  |  swimming
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