Cape Town - Distance swimmer Myles Brown has qualified for the FINA World Long Course Championships in Kazan, Russia, in emphatic fashion with a new national record in the 400m freestyle in Durban on Monday.
Brown and Olympic gold medallist Cameron van der Burgh were the first swimmers to book their places for the global showpiece on the first day of 2015 South African National Championships at the King’s Park Swimming Pool Complex.
Brown’s time ranks him sixth in the world this year. Brown had already obtained the qualifying standard during the morning heats, but kept the best for last as he stopped the clock at 3:46.08 to shave 0.23 seconds off Ryk Neethling’s record from 1999.
"I managed to break Ryk’s record which I am very happy about, but the plan was basically to get onto the team for the Worlds,” Brown said on Monday evening.
"I didn’t really have the record in mind - I just tried to be faster than in the morning.”
Brown said although the morning swim was tough on his body he believed he would come out stronger in the final. He was followed by Jarryd Baxter in 3:54.42 with Calvyn Justus following shortly on his heels for third place in 3:54.95.
"I wanted to get the time in the morning, so there was less pressure on me. Getting the free ticket also takes the pressure off,” he explained.
"The Olympics is obviously the big picture next year, but the goal for now was to get onto the Worlds team."
Van der Burgh got the World Championship qualification out of the way in the semi-final of the 100m breaststroke on Monday evening, touching the wall in a time of 1:00.30.
Meanwhile, Vanessa Mohr claimed the 100m butterfly title clocking 1:00.98 with Marne Erasmus in second place with 1:01.57 and Jessica Ashley-Cooper bagging bronze in 1:02.26.
Commonwealth Games swimmer Karin Prinsloo clocked 4:12.55 for the women’s 400m freestyle title. The Pretoria swimmer has been hassled by health issues over the last year and is expected to have her tonsils out after the nationals.
Only swimmers registered with and in good standing with SSA will be considered for selection to the World Championships.
SSA has made it clear that only swimmers who have participated at the SSA National Swimming Championships and have attained qualification time standards at the trials will be considered for selection.
Day two morning heats start at 09:30 and finals at 18:00.