Cameron books Olympics spot
Cameron van der Burgh (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Cameron van der Burgh became the latest athlete to qualify for the Olympic Games, but there was disappointment for teenager Vanessa Mohr at the SA Swimming Championships and Olympic Trials in Durban on Tuesday night.
Breaststroke specialist Van der Burgh recorded a time of 59.90 seconds in the 100m event, just under a second inside the 1:00.79 A-standard mark.
Mohr won the 100m butterfly in 59.72 to be crowned national champion, but her time was not within the qualifying time of 58.70 for London.
The two swimmers were among 12 who had A-standard times in their events prior to the meet.
"It’s just pure emotion [that I feel right now]," Van der Burgh said after his race.
"For me, the last couple of months I haven’t been racing a lot, I’ve just been mainly training. I’ve been trying to find some form here at this competition."
The 23-year-old, who is the county’s highest profile international swimmer, confirmed that he will now head home early and continue with training as he winds down his preparations for London.
Two others swimmers have met the stringent SA Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) policy - Chad le Clos and Charl Crous. Their performances were in semi-finals.
Le Clos, who aims to swim in four races at the Games, recorded a time of 1:47.20 to win the 200m freestyle semi-final.
Even though the event is not one of his four races, he managed to better the qualifying mark of 1:47.82, ahead of Darian Townsend (1:48.26), who does have an A-standard time under his belt in the event.
Crous swam inside the qualifying mark after a riveting 54.19 to win his 100m backstroke semi-final, with the other semi won with an impressive swim by Darren Murray (54.96).
"It’s the best feeling in the world," Crous said.
"I’m not very surprised because I’ve been working extremely hard for the last two years and seeing that sub-55 second time up there on the clock makes me want to come back tomorrow night and do even better [in the final]."
On the women’s side, Mohr was predictably disappointed after failing to secure her berth in London.
The 17-year-old Afrikaans Hoër Meisieskool pupil said: "I’m more disappointed because I had been inside that qualifying time before.
"I’m still young and I won’t let this keep me down. There’s no point dropping my head because the future is bright and I know there’s still two or three future Olympics that I can qualify for."
Among the other female swimmers, Wendy Trott, who has an A-standard time in the 800m freestyle, won the 400m freestyle in 4:12.86, ahead of Michelle Weber (4:15.91) and Jessica Pengelly (4:16.35), all three comfortably inside the Olympic time of 4:09.35.