South Africa

SA hope to swim in medals

2014-07-15 21:00
Chad le Clos (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - South Africa will once again hope for a massive medal harvest from the swimming team at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games next week.

The strong swimming contingent will be spearheaded by serial medal collector Chad le Clos, who could be eyeing as many as five individual medals at the multi-sport spectacle.

Le Clos picked up five medals four years ago at the Delhi Games, where he won the 200m butterfly and the 400m individual medley, and collected silver in the 4x100m medley, and two bronze medals in the 4x100m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle.

Medal hopefuls also include some of the heavyweights in international swimming -- world record holder and Olympic gold medallist Cameron van der Burgh, and sprint specialist Roland Schoeman.

Le Clos said although there would be great expectations from him to perform and add to South Africa's medal tally, he did not feel any pressure.

"As you win the Olympics and the World Championships there is more expectation that grows. That never gets to me and I just make sure I am prepared the best I can," Le Clos said on Tuesday.

"For Rio there is still some time to change things and this year is more of an experimental year for me swimming in a lot of races that I maybe wouldn't normally swim at the Olympics just to see what I can handle."

At the national swimming championships in Durban in April he matched his coach Graham Hill and 2000 Sydney Olympic silver medallist Terence Parkin's seven-title medal haul.

"Rio is obviously the main focus. So whatever happens at this Commonwealth Games, whether it is gold, silver, bronze or fourth, I am just going to take it with a pinch of salt and just look forward to next year's world championships and obviously the Olympics," Le Clos said.

This season, distance swimmer Myles Brown and women's swimming sensation Karin Prinsloo stole the limelight from Le Clos, Schoeman, and Van der Burgh.

Much is expected of the duo as they could possibly add Commonwealth silverware to augment a stellar year in the pool.

Hill, the national swimming coach, said these two swimmers, along with United States-based swimmers Sebastien Rousseau and Dylan Bosch, should compete for podium finishes in Glasgow.

"Those two (Brown and Prinsloo) really stood out and coming onto the scene now, they will stand out a little bit more than the seasoned campaigners that are always there," he said.

"Karin was really good this year and Myles dominated the 200m, 400m and the 1500m, where he really swam some good races.

"Roland has been swimming really well, keeping himself in good shape and he is swimming fast, so I think we can look to some good performances from him.

"The same with Cameron and the two boys in the United States, Dylan Bosch and Sebastien Rousseau -- they are swimming really well."

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