Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
31 Jan 2014
7:00 am

All eyes on SA’s swimming stars

Wesley Botton

Potential candidates for the SA team at the 2016 Olympic Games must start to raise their hands this weekend, says Swimming SA (SSA) high-performance manager Dean Price, and show their determination against some of the world's best swimmers.

FILE PICTURE: Myles Brown. Photo by Anesh Debiky / Gallo Images

“In 2014 and 2015 we will see which of the previous Olympic winners have held on, and which new stars are coming through,” Price said ahead of the Aquatic Super Series, which starts in Perth today.

“This is one of the events where we’re going to see who the contenders are for 2016, and our policy at SSA is to look at the swimmers who can make an impression at the Olympics.”

National head coach Graham Hill was not expecting the younger members of the 25-strong team to shine, but he insisted they needed to carry the flag with pride, with South Africa facing Australia, China, Japan and Brazil at the annual three-day event.

“I’m not one to be soft on the swimmers. They need to perform at the best of their abilities,” Hill said.

Olympic butterfly champion and short course world record holder Chad le Clos will start to spread his programme, with an eye on a bag of medals at the 2016 Rio Games, after focussing on his specialist discipline last season.

“I’m not afraid and I’ll do whatever it takes,” Le Clos said.

“I’m going to take each race as it comes, but I’m not scared to race anyone.”

Le Clos’ training partner, distance specialist Myles Brown, was looking forward to the start of the 2014 international season.

“Last year there was very tough competition in Australia and I think it will be tough again because we’re up against some of the best countries in world swimming,” Brown said.

“We have a few weeks of hard training behind us, and hopefully this will be good preparation for the Commonwealth Games.”