Oz swim stars in Durban for World Cup series

2009-10-15 00:00

AUSTRALIAN team-mates Marieke Guehrer and Felicity Galvez will be the main drawcard from Down Under as they chase the prize money in the opening leg of the Fina/Arena Swimming World Cup series taking place at the King’s Park Aquatic Centre in Durban tomorrow and Saturday.

Guehrer, who topped the 2008 Fina/Arena Swimming World Cup women’s points standings to pocket $100 000, has so far had a successful 2009 in claiming gold in the 50 m butterfly and bronze in the 4x100 m freestyle relay at the Fina World Championships held in Rome in July.

She will compete in the 50 m freestyle, 50 m backstroke and 50 m butterfly events.

The Australian star’s tussle with Sweden’s Therese Alshammar in the 50 m butterfly will be one of the highlights. Guehrer goes into the race with a short-course season best of 24,99 sec (No. 1 ranked time in the world) with Alshammar next best on 25,07 sec.

Galvez, a former world record-holder in the 50 m and 100 m butterfly short course events, will be in action in the freestyle and butterfly sprint events.

The withdrawal of Australian Liesel Jones has put a damper on the showdown with American Olympic star Jessica Hardy in the breaststroke events. Hardy is the holder of the world short-course record in the 50 m breaststroke with a time of 29,58sec.

The hosting of the Fina/Arena Swimming World Cup in Durban has been made possible with the support of loyal swimming partners in the form of Sport & Recreation SA, the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund, Telkom and the City of eThekwini. Courtesy of Swimming South Africa, the prize money stakes are high, with a gold medal worth $1 500, a silver medal at $1 000 and a bronze medal worth $500.

Following the Durban leg of the series, the Fina/Arena Swimming World Cup will move to Moscow(November 6 to 7), Stockholm (November 10 to 11), Berlin (November 14 to 15) and Singapore (November 21 to 22).

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