Schoeman shatters 50m freestyle world mark

2008-09-07 00:00

When it comes to sprinting, Roland Schoeman proved that there is still another level to reach with his most outstanding performance yet as he raced to another world record in the 50 metres freestyle at the Telkom South African Short Course Swimming Championships in Germiston on Saturday night.

After missing the record set by Croatia’s Duje Draganja at the World Short Course Championships in Manchester in April by just 0,01sec on Friday evening, Schoeman “felt the record was a definite possibility”.

“I really did not come here with the thoughts of breaking records, but to make sure I could race at the World Cup events later this year,” a jovial Schoeman said.

The talented Arizona-based star raced out in 9,75sec at the 25 metres turning point and held his newly adjusted stroke together really well to hit the timing pad in an amazing 20,64sec, breaking the world mark by 0,17sec — considered a massive margin at international level.

Credit to the Eastern Gauteng Aquatics president and head of the organising committee, Johan Kruger, for ensuring that the pool was surveyed at the same time in order to claim the record without fuss.

Schoeman was in his element as he raised his arms to acknowledge the crowd he had treated to a fifth world record to be broken by a South African on home soil.

With the World Cup taking place at King’s Park in Durban on October 17 and 18, the 28-year-old feels he “should just keep ticking over like I am, to see what I can do at the coast. I felt that I was reaching on my last arm length today, but other than that I was happy with my swim.”

The promising Chanelle van Wyk made a welcome return to the form she displayed a few years ago with some more outstanding performances.

On Friday, she clocked up a fast 1:00,75 to win the women’s 100m backstroke, just a fraction off the SA mark of 1:00,14 set in 2001 by Charlene Wittstock — and the closest anyone has come to the record in seven years. Van Wyk then turned up the speed on Saturday as she clocked up another personal best 25,84sec to win the 50m freestyle – but only had a few minutes rest before tackling the 50m backstroke.

Chasing the 2002 record, also held by Wittstock in 28,00sec, Van Wyk produced an excellent swim to equal the mark.

“It’s great to be back training in Cape Town. I am really happy with these results,” commented the beaming Van Wyk.

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