Port Elizabeth - Kwazulu-Natal's Marine Surf's Carmel Billson,
brilliant at the 2018 General Tire Lifesaving South African National
Championships, once again proved her class in the 2019 Pool Championships at
Newton Park in this year's National Championships.
Expect more from Kwazulu-Natal's golden girl when
Lifesaving's senior female elite take to the surf later in the week. Billson is
of the rare breed who flourishes in the Pool and Surf. She also recently was
the top female senior at the South African National Stillwater Championships in
Billson is modern South African lifesaving royalty -
with her sisters consistently on the medal podium. But there isn't a female
athlete who amasses more points at any championship than (Carmel) Billson.
Two years ago, she won a South African record 17
titles and last year she was the most prolific points scorer at the nationals
in Port Elizabeth; in the pool and in the surf.
Billson, a member of Team South Africa's World Cup
squad in Australia in 2018, arrived in Port Elizabeth in red-hot form. She
didn't disappoint in the senior pool events, winning the 200 LC metre Obstacle.
Billson then came within a second of breaking her own
South African record in the 100 LC metre Rescue Medley.
Team South Africa 200m Obstacle specialist Johan
Lourens, competing for Tuks, showed his class to win gold, but his time was
nearly six seconds off his South African record.
Lourens added a second gold din the 100 LC metre
Lourens then led Tuks to victory in the Men’s 4x50
metres Medley Rescue Relay.
Leshen Pillay took gold in the U14 200 LC Metre
Obstacle. Calvin Coetzee and Ockert van Schalkwyk were first in the same event
in the under 15/16 and under 17/18 category respectively.
Chloe le Roux, in the female under 14 200 LC
Metre Obstacle, was first and Team South Africa international Sulinka van den
Berg also won gold in the 200 LC Metre Obstacle for females 15-16 years-old.
Le Roux and Van den Berg swim for the Mangaung
Lifesaving Club, whose Guilma Lausberg came close to breaking Tanya Pieterse's
South African record in the female under 14 100 metre LC Rescue Medley.
Van den Berg would also win the female 15-16 age group
100 LC Medley and then break Pieterse's South African record in the 100 LC
Metre Manikin Tow.
Connor Botha was also in good form. South Africa's most talented junior, be it
pool, surf or Stillwater, prospered individually and in the relays.