Swimmers do Team SA proud

Chad le Clos and Sebastien Rosseau (AFP)
Chad le Clos and Sebastien Rosseau (AFP)
Glasgow - By the close of the sixth day of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Tuesday, the swimmers had produced a dozen of the 26 medals earned by Team SA, with Chad le Clos amassing a record equalling seven.

"I'm really impressed with what they have done here. We picked a lot of young swimmers, particularly in the relays and they stood up and delivered," said team head coach Graham Hill.

"I'm really happy that the core of the team, Cameron, Chad and Roland, who we expected the individual medals from, did a great job and then we saw Sebastian (Rousseau) stepping up and getting medals as well. It was a great job all round.

"One very conspicuous difference to past teams was the camaraderie and support within the team. It seemed to pervade each and every swimmer and support member of the swim group, and perceptibly added to their medal earning ability," said the coach.

"The spirit of this team was amazing. My first major meet was 2008, and it wasn't like this. Coming here you can just feel that everyone's behind you and wants you to swim well and it just makes everything easier," said Rousseau who won three medals.

Although the women did not win any medals, Hill was pleased with their performance.

"It was unfortunate that Karin (Prinsloo) got sick," he said.

"In saying that, the 4 x 200m relay broke the SA record by eight seconds with a couple of 15 and 16 year old youngsters in the team, which holds for a good future in two years time and I'm sure they will then stand up for an individual event."

"Karin was the only one who made the qualifying times and she was going to be the anchor in the relays as well so it was obviously disappointing for her to be ill," said Swimming South Africa President Jayce Naidoo.

"At games like this, its an opportunity for them to show that they can come to the big stage and improve their performance. I believe that they did this."

As much as Glasgow 2014 was about the emergence of the youngsters, it also saw the closing of a curtain for Roland Schoeman who performed as hard and passionately over the past week, as he did in his first Commonwealth in 1998.

"I’m in large part happy. I think when you touch the wall and over run with emotions it’s hard to put things into perspective.

"I think back to 2004 when I finished second in the 100m freestyle. Instead of celebrating the silver I blasted myself for not winning gold," said a pensive Schoeman.

" I remember my first commonwealth games fondly, and if you told me at that point that I would go to five games, win 12 medals, I would probably have been all right with that.

"Today I may be happy to a degree, I’m not satisfied to any measure at all.

"I expected more of myself.

"I’ve been training faster.

"The times I swam were pretty pedestrian and while it may be alright here, its not going to cut it at the Olympics if I want to compete at my fifth Olympics."

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