Double win for Townsend

2012-08-18 00:00

CITY star Darian Townsend raced to two World Championship qualifying times on the second day of the South African Short Course Championships held at the GC Jolliffe Pool in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

The Olympian led home the semi-finalists in the men’s 100 metres freestyle with a fast 48,19 seconds to set up a huge showdown for tonight’s final next to South Africa’s top male sprinter, Roland Schoeman, and the up-and-coming Leith Shankland.

Townsend followed this up with an outstanding 53,95 seconds qualifying swim in the semi-finals of the men’s 100 metres individual medley — again lining up next to Schoeman and Shankland for the final.

Schoeman got his evening under way with a gold medal in the men’s 50 metres butterfly, achieving a third World Championship qualifying time of 22,97 seconds to dominate the event.

Another up-and-coming city star rose to the occasion by opening the finals with her first senior gold medal. Jamie Reynolds (14) won the women’s 50 m breaststroke in a close race in 32,74 seconds, beating Kelly Gunnell by 0,18. Tatjana Schoemaker came in third.

Guilo Zorzi produced an exciting swim in the semi-finals of the men’s 100 metres breaststroke as he raced to a World Champs qualifying time of one mintue in the absence of training partner Cameron van der Burgh.

With Neil Versfeld, Kyle Duckitt and Jared Pike in the final, more qualifying times could be achieved tonight.

Jessica Pengelly raced to her second World Champs qualifying time when she swam away from her opposition in the women’s 800 metres freestyle, finishing in a time of 8:33,24. Kyna Pereira was second in 8:49,74 followed by Caitlin Katt.

Kathryn Meaklim once again surprised her opposition in the women’s 200 metres breaststroke.

Meaklim surged ahead after the halfway mark to take the title in 2:29,32, with Kelly Gunnell finishing on 2:31,57 and surviving a late charge by promising young star Marlies Ross. who took the bronze in 2:31,91.

In the men’s 800 metres freestyle, Chad Ho make it look easy to win the gold in 8:09,92, with Dean Myhill the runner-up in 8,19,88. Jason van der Touw took third in a time of 8:25,20.

Garth Tune managed to cause an upset in the men’s 100 metres backstroke in a very close race.

Darren Murray, who qualified in the semi-final a day earlier in 52,84 seconds, could only manage third place in 54,10 as Neil de Villiers took the silver in 53,97 and Tune the gold in 53,89.

Jessica Ashley-Cooper was unable to match her World Championship qualifying time in the semi-final of the women’s 100 metres backstroke of one minute, but went on to win in 1:00,39 ahead of Lehesta Kemp in 1:02.87 and Janneka Malan in a time of 1:03,33.

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