Cape Town - Two-time Paralympian Kevin Paul grabbed headlights with a world record on Friday as the national swimming championships celebrated their penultimate day of competition in Durban.
Former Port Elizabeth resident, Paul, smashed his world record in the 200-metre breaststroke with a time of 2min 22:27sec.
"Last year I moved from PE to Durban to join SA national coach Graham Hill and I have been really happy with how well my times have improved," Paul said.
"My goal was to achieve my QT for Para Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later this year in July which I did.
"Now my goal is to keep improving my training and be ready for Rio 2016."
Notwithstanding Paul’s perfromance, the star of the championships is undoubtedly Myles Brown who won his fourth title on Friday.
Brown won the 100m freestyle final after he won the 200m and 400m earlier this week – the latter two in new national-record times.
He clocked 49.95 seconds, missing the World Championships qualifying time by under a second, followed by Clayton Jimmie in 50.45 seconds and Caydon Muller bagging bronze in a time of 50.66.
"I was feeling really good in the heats and it’s always nice to win all full sets of my events," Brown said. "It’s my first time to win this race." The 22-year-old boasts with three qualifying times for the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia in August.
World record holder Cameron van der Burgh was set to complete a golden trio in the breaststroke. On Friday he attained the qualifying standard in the 200 metre breaststroke in a time of 2:11.37 to add to that of the 100m breaststroke.
He has so far claimed the 50m and 100m titles and will be looking to complete the golden treble in Saturday’s 200m final.
Although Van der Burgh said he felt slightly out of his depth in the 200m breaststroke, he demonstrated that he could make the leap to the longer distance.
Meanwhile, Chad le Clos qualified for his third individual event by winning the 200m Individual Medley in a time of 1:58.97.
He was followed by Michael Meyer in 2:02.33 and Jarryd Baxter with 2:05.39.
This was Le Clos’ third medal at the championships after winning the 200m butterfly and silver in the 200m freestyle.
Veteran Gerhard Zandberg won the men’s 50m backstroke in a time of 25.39 seconds with Ricky Ellis and Michael Andrew following in times of 25.86 and 26.04 respectively.
In the women’s 50m backstroke final Mariella Venter was crowned champion as she touched first in 29.08 seconds with Jessica Ashley-Cooper finishing second in 29.38 seconds and Region 5 Games star Rita Naude third with 30.07 sec.
Former world junior open water champion Michelle Weber beat Caitlin Kat to the wall in the 800m freestyle in a time of 8:53.35.
Kat was short on her heels clocking 8:53.88 with Charlise Oberholzer in third in 8:58.14.
The women’s 200m butterfly belonged to Rene Warnes posting a time of 2:14.49 with Tarryn Els touching in second place 2:17.76 and Carmen Le Roux in third with 2:19.27.
In the women’s 200m backstroke it was Central Gauteng swimmer Nathania van Niekerk to bag the gold medal clocking 2:12.95 to beat Northern Tigers swimmer Karin Prinsloo who took the silver medal in 2:13.12 and bagging the bronze medal was Zanre Oberholzer clocking 2:17.90.
After five days of competition just four swimmers (all of them male) have achieved the World Championships qualification standards.
Myles Brown – 200m, 400m & 800m freestyle
Cameron van der Burgh – 100m & 200m breaststroke
Chad le Clos – 200m freestyle, 200m butterfly & 200m Individual Medley
Sebastien Rousseau – 200m butterfly
2015 IPC World Championships Qualifiers (Glasgow, Scotland 13-19 July 2015)
Johann van Heerden
Hendrik van der Merwe