City matriculant continues victory surge at champs

2013-04-23 00:00

WHILE ace sprinter Roland Schoeman churned up the water with an outstanding dash of speed, it was local star Tara Nicholas who continued on her victory surge on the final day of the disappointing South African Swimming Championships in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Schoeman was obviously in a league of his own in the men’s 50 m freestyle where he clocked up an amazing 21,88 seconds to record yet another World Championship qualifying time, despite the water quality and delays the swimmers had to endure.

“I am very happy with my time in these conditions,” he said.

The four-time Olympian and SA’s top performing male swimmer since 1992, Schoeman ended with a fourth ranking in the world.

Earlier in the week, the U.S.-based star clocked a 23,11 seconds dash for the 50 m butterfly that sees him ranked at number two this year.

For city matriculant Nicholas, it was a full house of gold medals in the women’s breaststroke events after leading from the start of the 200 m event to win in a personal best 2:32,90 on Saturday.

The Wykeham Collegiate pupil won the 50 m (32,81 seconds) and the 100 m breaststroke (1:09,99) before tackling the 200 m event — the first time the Seals swimmer has won this distance at a senior competition.

Olympic gold medallist Chad le Clos and Myles Brown continued to excel as expected on the final day.

The Olympic champion was out on his own in the 100 m butterfly to win in an excellent 51,79 seconds, while Brown was a distance winner in the men’s 1500 m freestyle in 15:28,20.

On Friday, Brown had achieved a World Championship QT in the 800 m freestyle in 8:58,64.

But it was Le Clos who kept his name high up on the world rankings, currently holding the second spot in the 100 m butterfly, a fourth spot in the 200 m butterfly (1:56,35) and a ninth place in the 50 m butterfly in 23,72 seconds.

Other South African swimmers sneaking into the world rankings are former world champion Gerhard Zandberg and Guilio Zorzi.

Zandberg has not been out of the medals at a world championship event in the 50 m backstroke since 2003 and is ranked at fifth place after his 24,88 seconds dash — the top place only a fraction ahead on 24,61 seconds.

Zorzi, Cameron van der Burgh’s training partner, holds a sixth spot on the rankings with a 27,73 seconds swim in the 50 m breaststroke set in January in Australia.

There is no doubt that Van der Burgh will be up there with the rest of the word once his routine is back in place.

One swimmer who came extremely close to a World Champs QT was Arizona-based Michael Meyer, who clocked an encouraging 4:19,36 for the men’s 400 m IM — just 0,37 seconds off the mark.

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