Johannesburg – With tonsillitis and niggling injuries hampering her training, South Africa’s top women’s swimmer Karin Prinsloo will miss this year’s FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia.
As a result, the 25-year-old Prinsloo will instead shift her focus towards qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Women’s swimming in the country has taken a serious plunge with only men managing to post times which meet world qualifying standards at the national championships in April.
Prinsloo participated despite suffering from the effects of tonsillitis and could not muster enough strength to clock a qualifying time in Durban.
She has since had her tonsils removed and instead of attempting to qualify in Europe during the Mare Nostrum series in June, she will be putting in training hours.
"I think it is the right thing for now, because I need the training and worlds are around the corner, racing at Mare Nostrum would not have beneficial," the Tuks High Performance Centre (HPC) swimmer said.
"I need that explosive power and while I’ve done well inside the pool over the last two years, I need to do some work in the gym."
Prinsloo said she hoped to be ready for the All Africa Games in Brazzaville in September and the FINA Swimming World Cup that will take place between August and November.
The traditional short-course World Cup series will for the first time be held in 50m pools and will be qualifying events for the 2016 Olympics.
"I will be going to one of the World Cup legs looking to qualify for the Games and I know that when I am fully fit that I can be competitive," Prinsloo said.
She said she needed a strong base before major championships and will be racking up the mileage in the pool.
Prinsloo said her times from 2014 has given her a good idea of the events she would focus on and will have her sights set on the 200m and 400m freestyle as well as the 200m backstroke.
"I’ve dipped below what would be the Olympic qualifying standards in these three events last year and it just makes sense to swim in them," she said.
"I’m trying to stay positive and think that perhaps the rest is just what I need to push through until I have to qualify."
She said the fact that the World Cup has been changed to a long-course series would give her an early opportunity to qualify and compete against the world’s best before the Games.