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Chad, Cameron in SA team

2013-05-09 13:33
Chad le Clos (Gallo)

Johannesburg -Swimming SA (SSA) have assembled a strong team for the FINA World Championships from July 19 to August 4 despite having to adjust their selection criteria.

The team, which was named in Johannesburg on Thursday, would be spearheaded by world record holder Cameron van der Burgh and fellow London 2012 Olympic champion Chad le Clos.

World bronze medallist in the 50m backstroke Gerhard Zandberg and Athens Olympic gold medallist Roland Schoeman further strengthened their chances of claiming silverware.

The team was larger than expected after various mishaps occurred at the SA Swimming Championships in Port Elizabeth. Of primary concern was the Newton Park swimming pool, which turned a shade of green and saw the six-day gala reduced to four.

SSA president Jace Naidoo said the trying conditions forced the selectors to make allowances as the event traditionally doubled-up as trials for major international events.

"The forthcoming world championships will be our first major test after the Olympic Games and, as a result of the challenges around the pool, the executive asked the selectors to reconsider the selection criteria," Naidoo said.

"It is a good squad we've come up with and which we also had to consider for preparations, not only for the Rio Olympics, but also for the Commonwealth Games next year.

"There is a combination of youth and experience in the squad and we are hoping for the youngsters to start coming through."

The men's team also included rising distance star Myles Brown, Leith Shankland (freestyle), Michael Meyer (medley), Darren Murray (backstroke) and Giulio Zorzi (breaststroke).

SSA selected a youthful eight-member women's team with Karin Prinsloo the only Olympian among them.

Olympic finalist Suzaan van Biljon had been plagued by injury and ill-health since the Games but could still claim a place during the Mare Nostrum series next month.

Four teenagers were included - Vanessa Mohr (18), Tara Nicholas (17), Kyna Pereira (17) and Marlies Ross (15) - with an eye to the future.

SSA had made a decision not to select swimmers for the non-Olympic events - 50m breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke - but the inclusion of Zorzi and Zandberg suggested they had changed their mind.

Zorzi qualified for the world championships in the 50m breaststroke, while Zandberg met the standard in the 50m backstroke.

SSA high-performance manager Dean Price said while the Olympics were a priority, they were needed to look ahead to next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

"Our primary focus is on two events and that is the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games in 2016. We believe Gerhard Zandberg and Giulio Zorzi are very strong medal contenders for the Commonwealth Games," Price said.

"Gerhard is obviously a strong contender for a medal at these world championships in the 50m backstroke as he's medalled at four previous world championships.

"We hope he will step-up into our medley relay team. We've always had a shortcoming in the 100m backstroke because we have Cameron in the breaststroke, we now have Chad in the butterfly and we have Roland swimming at the top of the world at the moment."

The Open Water team would be the first to compete on July 20 when Michelle Weber, Chad Ho and Troyden Prinsloo took to the water in the 5km race.

Weber, Clarice le Roux, Ho and Prinsloo would also be in action in the 10km event.

SA Swimming team:

Men: Myles Brown, Chad le Clos, Michael Meyer, Darren Murray, Roland Schoeman, Leith Shankland, Cameron van der Burgh, Giulio Zorzi.

Women: Jessica Ashleigh-Cooper, Trudi Maree, Vanessa Mohr, Tara Nicholas, Kyna Perreira, Karin Prinsloo, Marlies Ross, Rene Warnes.

Open Water: Men 10km: Chad Ho, Troyden Prinsloo. Men 5km: Chad Ho, Daniel Marais. Women 10km: Michelle Weber, Clarice le Roux. Women 5km: Michelle Weber, Kyna Perreira

Open Water: Men 10km: Chad Ho, Troyden Prinsloo. Men 5km: Chad Ho, Daniel Marais. Women 10km: Michelle Weber, Clarice le Roux. Women 5km: Michelle Weber, Kyna Perreira


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