Catch Olympic heroes in action in SA
3 August 2012
South Africans will have the opportunity to see Olympic heroes Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos in action at the South African Short Course Swimming Championships at the GC Jolliffe Pool in Pietermaritzburg from 16 to 19 August.
"This is a great honour that the Pietermaritzburg public will be able to see these two amazing swimmers in action where we could well witness more world records falling in our City," said Wayne Riddin from the Olympic Village in London. Riddin is an assistant Olympic coach and the organiser of the South African Championships.
"This has been an honour for me to be in London and to witness this level of swimming from the South Africans, and all credit to the efforts of head coach Graham Hill," he added.
Competing for places
Most of the swimmers competing in London will make their way straight to Pietermaritzburg, where they will be challenging for the top two positions in order to make the South African team that will compete at the World Short Course Championships in December.
Van der Burgh lifted the spirits of the whole South African team in London on the second day of competition when he won the gold medal in the men's 100m breaststroke in 58.46 seconds, a new world record.
The Pretoria-based swimmer previously set the short course world 50m and 100m breaststroke records in the GC Jolliffe Pool.
A favourite among fans
Le Clos has become a favourite among world swimming followers after toppling the legendary Michael Phelps in the 200m butterfly. He prevented the Olympic legend from winning his 15th Olympic gold medal by winning in an African record of 1:52.96, just 0.05 seconds ahead of Phelps. The American has since taken his gold medal tally to 16.
World 50m freestyle record holder Roland Schoeman will also be competing along with Darian Townsend, who returns to his home-based Seals club, the organising club for the championships.
Schoeman and Townsend are the only two swimmers from the 2004 men's 4x100m freestyle relay team that won gold in Athens still competing.
In August 2009, at the South African Course Course Swimming Championships, which also took place at the GC Jolliffe Pool, Schoeman set a sensational world record of 20.30 seconds in the 50m freestyle. It remains unbroken to this day.
Suzaan van Biljon, fresh off bettering Penny Heyns' 200m breaststroke record that had stood since 1999, will provide some Olympic shine in the women's events.
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