Swimming: Townsend in PMB for SA Short Course Swim Championships

2010-08-05 00:00

DOUBLE Olympian Darian Townsend arrived back in the City yesterday to take part in the Telkom South African Short Course Swimming Championships that get under way at the GC Jolliffe swimming pool in Pietermaritzburg tomorrow.

Townsend will have a busy weekend where he is likely to feature prominently among a strong group of male contenders that include Olympians Roland Schoeman, Cameron van der Burgh, Lyndon Ferns, Gerhard Zandberg, Riaan Schoeman, William Diering and Neil Versfeld, while those chasing a chance at the 2012 Olympics include Gideon Louw, Graeme Moore, Heerden Herman, Charl van Zyl, Neil Watson, and Chad Ho. Young up-and-coming star Chad le Clos will only compete on the first day before jetting off to the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

The men’s swimming will give spectators plenty to get excited about, especially in the 50 m sprint events that eliminate swimmers until the final is contested by just two swimmers. Last year a number of world records fell to Schoeman and Van der Burgh, but they were in the now banned swimsuits. There will be keen interest to see how close the swimmers can get to their times last year just wearing what is termed ‘jammers’. All eyes will also be on the times getting recorded at the U.S. Championships.

The women’s events look set to be a challenge between a few of South Africa’s most versatile swimmers in veteran Mandy Loots, Kathryn Meaklim and Jessica Pengelly, while the sprinters who should feature are Karen Prinsloo and Chanelle van Wyk. From the local side, Ronwyn Roper and Bianca Meyer will be hoping to get amongst the medals as well.

In the distance events, Wendy Trott is likely to continue her domination while Leone Vorster will be hoping to challenge over the 100 m and 200 m freestyle events. Among the younger ones to watch will be Jessica Ashley-Cooper and Vanessa Mohr.

The heats get under way at 9.30 am with the finals each evening at 5 pm. The finals on Monday take place at 2 pm.

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