The South African swimming contingent are gearing up for the first big step towards the Rio Olympics as they travel to Russia for the 16th Fina World Championships, starting in Kazan on Friday.
Michelle Weber, Clarice le Roux, Chad Ho and Daniel Marais are first up as they contest they 5km Open Water events on Saturday, followed by the men’s 10km race on Monday where Ho and Marais will once again test their preparations.
Weber will also feature in the ladies 10km alongside team-mate Carmen le Roux on Tuesday, while Nicolaos Manoussakis will conclude the Open Water category with the 25km race next Saturday.
The women’s water polo team will begin their campaign against the Netherlands on Sunday followed by matches against Australia and Greece. On the men’s side, Mzansi’s own will start the competition against Argentina on Monday with matches against Hungary and Kazakhstan to follow.
In the synchronised swimming section Kerry-Beth Norden, Emma Manners Wood, Laura Strugnell and Courtney Musson will represent South Africa, while Nicole Gillis, Julia Vincent, Jaimee Gundry and Micaela Bouter will take on the diving challenge.
The pool swimming programme starts next Sunday with Olympic gold medallist Chad le Clos leading a five-man team.
The swimming team also includes breaststrokers Cameron van der Burgh, 22-year-old Ayton Sweeney, as well as Sebastien Rousseau and Myles Brown.
“Our team has had a good build-up in Europe and now it is time for rest and final preparation. We look forward to seeing the performances in Kazan and believe it will be a fast competition and our swimmers are ready to perform.” said Swimming SA’s High Performance Manager, Dean Price.
In wishing the national team the best of luck for Kazan, Swimming SA CEO Shaun Adriaanse said: “The Fina World Championships is an important milestone for our athletes on their way to Rio 2016. They will measure themselves against the world’s best and gauge where they are and what they need to do to be ready for the Olympic Games next year,” said Adriaanse.
Cameron van der Burgh (50 and 100m breaststroke), Chad Le Clos (50, 100 and 200m butterfly), Ayrton Sweeney (50 and 100m breaststroke), Myles Brown (200 and 400m freestyle), Sebastien Rousseau (200m butterfly and 400m individual medley)
MEN: Dawyne Flatscher, Julian Lewis, Devon Card, Ignardus Badenhorst, Pierre Le Roux, Etienne Le Roux, Nicolas Molyneux, Jon Marc De Carvalho, Dayne Jagga, Jared Wingate Pearce, Nicholas Hock, Dean Whyte, Wesley Bohata
WOMEN: Rebecca Thomas, Samantha Shead, Kelsey White, Tarryn Schooling, Megan Schooling, Lee-Anne Keet, Marcelle Manson, Megan Parkes, Ruby Versfeld, Delaine Christian, Alex Gascoigne, Kieren Paley
Men’s 10km: Chad Ho, Daniel Marais
Women’s 10km: Carmen le Roux, Michelle Weber
Men’s 5km: Chad Ho, Daniel Marais
Women’s 5km: Michelle Weber, Clarice le Roux
Men’s 25km: Nicolaos Manoussakis
Kerry-Beth Norden, Emma Manners Wood, Laura Strugnell, Courtney Musson
Nicole Gillis, Julia Vincent, Jaimee Gundry, Micaela Bouter