Speedo Swim Champs in Durban this week

2008-07-07 00:00

The annual Speedo Prestige Swimming Championships is set for more fast racing as a number of Olympians will test themselves at the week-long tournament that gets under way at the King’s Park pool in Durban today.

With records still tumbling throughout the world since the new Speedo LZR swimsuit was launched, there is a chance national records could fall during the week as well. A recent record breaker is veteran Olympian Mandy Loots, who is keen to race in the new suit to see how effective it really is. The 29-year-old set a new Africa and SA record in the women’s 200 m butterfly in Europe recently, breaking the 2 min 10 sec mark and achieving personal best times that she set way back in 2000 at the Sydney Olympics.

Joining her as Beijing approaches fast is leading breaststroker Suzaan van Biljon, sprint ace Lize-Mari Retief, Africa record holder William Diering and sprint-specialist Gerhard Zandberg, taking the trip from their Pretoria training bases. From the local scene will be Melissa Corfe, as well as Chad Ho, recently added to the Olympic team for open water swimming. Another star to watch is 12-year-old Jessica Liss, who missed Olympic qualification by a fraction of a second in April — at senior level. She will be involved in the toughest amount of swimming for any individual this week.

The heats get under way at 9.30 am each morning while the finals are at 6 pm each evening. Spectators are welcome.

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