Wendy Trott in top form for SA champs

2010-04-03 00:00

U.S.-BASED Wendy Trott looks set to continue her domination of the middle-distance and distance freestyle events, as she tackles the upcoming Telkom South African Senior Swimming Championships, which take place from April 13 to 17 at the King’s Park Pool in Durban.

Trott performed well at the recent NCAA Championships in the U.S., winning the women’s 1 500 m freestyle, to show she is in a good shape to retain her titles in the 400 m, 800 m and 1500 m freestyle.

The Georgia University star could also pose a threat in the 200 m freestyle. Greek star Eleni Kosti is the top seed, but the SA challenge will feature Kathryn Meaklim, rising star Kayla Ferreira, Jessica Pengelly, Megan Stephens, Natasha de Vos and Jessica Ashleigh-Cooper.

Missing from the psych sheets is leading 200 m freestyle star Leone Vorster, who is the one to beat after her sub-two-minute performance last year. Vorster also did well at the recent NCAA Championships in the U.S. If these women make it through to the final, one of the best 200 m freestyle races among the women is on the cards.

Meaklim, who heads the 200 m individual medley, will be hard to beat after her 400 m IM world record performance (short course) last year. But there will always be a threat in the form of Pengelly and the evergreen Mandy Loots, while Bianca Meyer and Ronwyn Roper could add to the competition for the minor medals.

The 200 m breaststroke will see a similar line-up, with Pengelly, Meaklim and Roper being the only swimmers to have clocked times of under 2:30 this season. However, a number of others could feature in the running, such as Jessica Liss, Tarryn Mackenzie, Kirsty Wienand, Nika Taylor and Catherine Richards.

Pengelly and Meaklim are also certain to go head to head at the end of the week in the 400 m IM.

While Chanelle van Wyk starts as the favourite in the 100 m backstroke, Ashleigh-Cooper has improved this season and is likely to get close, along with Karin Prinsloo — who will also feature in the 100 m freestyle alongside Kosti.

Joining them in the challenge will be Ashleigh-Cooper again, with Liezl Burger and the younger Ferreira.

The 100 m butterfly should prove interesting between Van Wyk and Loots, with improving youngster Vanessa Mohr a definite threat after a great season.

While the women’s 4x100m medley relay has already “qualified” for the Commonwealth Games, it will come down to who wins each individual 100 m event at these trials. Hence the swimmers will be going for the top position instead of a time thanks to the qualifying swims by Van Wyk, Roper, Loots and Prinsloo at the KwaZulu-Natal Champs in December.

Next week, Weekend Witness will focus on the men, who will challenge for places at the Commonwealth Games trials.

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