News24

SA swim squad announced

2009-05-12 09:42

Durban - World 50-metres breaststroke record-holder Cameron van der Burgh and Olympic relay gold medallists Roland Schoeman, Darian Townsend and Lyndon Ferns are among a powerful national swimming team that will compete at the FINA World Championships in Rome, Italy, from July 17 to August 2.

Swimming SA have been able to go the extra mile to send all 19 swimmers who posted world championship A level qualifying times at the Telkom SA National Aquatics Championships at the Kings Park Aquatics Centre in Durban last month, bringing about a team mixture of experience and youth.

Van der Burgh, who set a world best of 27.06 in the 50 metres breaststroke at the national championships in Durban, will compete in the 50 and 100 metres breaststroke events, while Schoeman, who joined Townsend, Ferns and Ryk Neethling in the gold medal-winning performance in the 4x100 metres relay at the Athens Olympics in 2004, will compete in the 50 and 100 metres freestyle and 50 metres butterfly.

Ferns, who will compete in the 50 and 100 metres freestyle and 100 metres butterfly, showed fine form at the national championships, on the comeback from a hernia operation which he underwent in January.

Other swimmers who will be out to make the most of the world championships campaign include Capetonians Sebastien Rousseau, who bettered his continental record in the 200 metres butterfly to 1:55.51 in Durban, and Chanelle van Wyk who set an African best of 28.55 in the 50 metres backstroke.

US-based Wendy Trott, who took her African record in the 1 500 metres freestyle to 16:10.97 at the national showpiece, will also be a part of the national team, as will Durbanite Riaan Schoeman, who clocked 4:12.07 to eclipse the 400 metres individual medley continental best of Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia which had stood at 4:13.47.

The Westville Boys High pair of Charl van Zyl (50 metres backstroke) and Chad le Clos will be making their senior world championship debuts after fine performances at junior international galas last year.

Van Zyl, who posted a world championship qualifying time of 25.71 in the 50 metres backstroke, got among the medals at the Commonwealth Youth Games held in Pune, India, last year, in winning the 50 metres backstroke (26.52), finishing second in the 100 metres backstroke (58.87) and claiming bronze in the 200 metres backstroke (2:05.02).

Le Clos, who clocked a 400 metres individual medley qualifying time of 4:17.62 to book his place in the SA team for swimming action in Rome, won the 200 metres breaststroke (2:21.00) and 200 metres individual medley (2:04.88) at the Commonwealth Youth event.

Also included are Soweto breaststroke star Thabang Moeketsane (50 and 100 metres breaststroke) and the highly promising Darren Murray for the 200 metres backstroke.

Murray finished second in the 50 metres backstroke (26.60 secs) and 200 metres backstroke (2:04.05) as well as third in the 100 metres backstroke (57.06) at the Commonwealth Youth Games held in Pune, India, last year.

SA TEAM:

MEN:

Jean Basson - 200m & 400m freestyle
William Diering - 200m breaststroke
George du Rand - 100m and 200m backstroke
Lyndon Ferns - 50m & 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly
Chad le Clos - 400m individual medley
Thabang Moeketsane - 50m & 100m breaststroke
Graeme Moore - 50m butterfly
Darren Murray - 200m backstroke
Sebastien Rousseau - 200m butterfly
Riaan Schoeman - 200m & 400m individual medley
Roland Schoeman - 50m & 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly
Darian Townsend - 100m butterfly, 200m individual medley
Cameron van der Burgh - 50m & 100m breaststroke
Charl van Zyl - 50m backstroke
Jasper Venter - 200m freestyle
Neil Versfeld - 200m breaststroke
Gerhard Zandberg - 50m backstroke

WOMEN:

Kathryn Meaklim - 200m & 400m individual medley
Jessica Pengelly - 200m & 400m individual medley
Wendy Trott - 800m & 1500m freestyle
Chanelle van Wyk - 50m backstroke

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