Johannesburg - Chad le Clos and Karin Prinsloo finished their week on a high note at the Commonwealth Games swimming trials in the Kings Park pool in Durban, but a newcomer Tara Nicholas also made her mark on the fifth day of the championships on Friday.
Double world champion in the butterfly, Chad le Clos did not disappoint after a gruelling 19 events (heats, semi-finals and finals). He won seven gold medals and a silver and qualified for the Games in Glasgow later this year in five events (200m backstroke, 100 and 200m butterfly; 200 and 400m individual medley).
The world champion showed he is pure class winning the 100 butterfly in 52.14, more than a minute ahead of second placed Brett Walsh (53.84) who did not beat the qualifying time of 53.84.
In his last event, Le Clos topped the busy week with a personal best time in the 200 individual medley in 1:57.94, once again qualifying for the Commonwealth Games. Dylan Bosch, who pushed Le Clos in the medley came second in 1:59.23 qualifying for his second event after he also qualified for the 200m butterfly.
"I am so happy as I have done my best time in the medley tonight. This means the medleys are back in contention for the Commonwealth Games. I really want to swim the medley as it is close to my heart as I believe the toughest swimmers compete in them and that is what I want to be," said Le Clos.
Karin Prinsloo finished a perfect week in the pool swimming in her last two events and winning gold in both and beating the qualifying time once again in the 200 backstroke.
The first event on her agenda was the 200m backstroke, where she beat the field by almost 4 seconds. She won in 2:10.32 beating the qualifying time of 2:11.09 by more than a second. Natania van Niekerk came a distant second in 2:14.46.
A little later, Prinsloo had the gruelling 400 freestyle where she won in 4:12.98, still five seconds ahead of the field but failing to qualify for the Games .
"I really wanted to qualify for this event as well, but after the 200m backstroke earlier in the evening it was just a little too much. I will sit down with my coach and we will see what events I will compete in at the Commonwealth Games. " she said.
Newcomer 18-year-old Tara Nicholas qualified for the 100m breaststroke winning the event in 1:08.59.
"I am so happy with the time as I dropped more than a second and a half since the beginning of the meet. It is wonderful to qualify for the Commonwealth, but I'm not too sure what to make of that right now," she said.
There were no surprises in the 50m breaststroke where Cameron van der Burgh, world champion in the event, won easily in 27.29. Although there is no qualifying time for the event, Van der Burgh will be able to swim as he has qualified in an Olympic event, the 100 breaststroke.
His teammate and training partner, Giulio Zorzi, who won bronze last year at the World Championships in Barcelona, was second in 28.18.