Townsend wins gold, breaks own SA record

2008-06-10 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG star Darian Townsend, Durbanite Kathryn Meaklim and Cape Town’s Wendy Trott raced to South African records at their respective Olympic preparation meets in the U.S. and Europe over the weekend.

Townsend grabbed a win in the men’s 200 metre individual medley with a time of 2:00.30 — breaking his own national mark set at the recent SA champs by 0,75 seconds. Eric Shanteau nearly reeled Townsend in during the second half with a second-place time of 2:01.06, while Tim Liebhold took third in 2:03.00.

The Seals swimmer was thrilled at his performance, especially seeing that he had fallen ill a week earlier.

“I am unfortunately sick, so I’m not sure if I will be travelling with the team this weekend,” was Townsend’s apprehensive response last week.

In fact, Townsend just got better each day of the Omaha Swimvitational in Nebraska to end the tournament on a high in the IM.

He had posted times of 23,74 seconds for the 50-metre freestyle and 1:50,64 for the 200-metre freestyle to take seventh place in that final that saw team-mate Jean Basson finish third in an encouraging 1:48,92.

Among the South Africans performing in Rome, Gerhard Zandberg managed a third spot in the men’s 50-metre backstroke in 25,28 seconds, challenged strongly to finish fifth in the 50-metre freestyle in 22,54 seconds and finished eighth in the 100-metre backstroke in 55,63 seconds.

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