Le Clos leads the way at SA Championships

Chad le Clos (Getty)
Chad le Clos (Getty)

Cape Town - Olympic and Commonwealth Games champion Chad le Clos highlighted Thursday's opening day of the short course SA National Swimming Championships at the Kings Park Aquatics Centre.

Le Clos was the first swimmer to qualify for the 14th FINA World Swimming Short-Course Championships in China fromDecember 11-16.

According to the Team SA website, he ducked below the 100m freestyle qualifying time during the morning heats before doing it again in the final, clocking a winning time of 46.45 seconds.

Zane Waddell, 20, posted a qualifying time of 47.54 in finishing second behind Le Clos. United States-based Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Ryan Coetzee finished third with a time of 48.23.

Commonwealth women's 100-200m breaststroke medallist Tatjana Schoenmaker also booked her place during the preliminary rounds.

She won the 200m breaststroke with a time of 2 minutes 18.93 seconds, dipping below the qualifying mark for the second time on the day.

Durban's Emily Visagie added her name to the list of qualifiers, finishing second behind Schoenmaker in 2:23.03 with Christin Mundell bagging bronze with 2:26.80.

Another Durban-based athlete, Erin Gallagher, who was one of the star swimmers at the Commonwealth Games, won the women's 100m with a world qualifying time of 53.34 seconds, while teenager Olivia Nel (daughter of former international Annette) won silver as she posted a time of 55.52 and Marlies Ross rounded off the podium by clocking 56.05.

Mariella Venter won the women's 200m backstroke with a time of 2:08.28, beating Samantha Randle to the wall. Randle touched second in 2:12.82 with Abi Meder finishing third with 2:17.01.

Heats start at 09:00 and finals at 17:00 every day.

Read full story on the Team SA website

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