The country’s best swimmers will be searching for top form over the next week, as they target places in the SA team for the Commonwealth Games.
Olympic medallists Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh were confirmed in the entry lists by Swimming South Africa (SSA) ahead of the week-long trials starting in Durban on Saturday.
A total of 460 competitors were expected to turn out in the pool at the event, which was also hosting the KwaZulu-Natal provincial aquatics championships, as they targeted the required qualifying standards for places in the national team.
World champion Le Clos, who bagged a record seven medals at the last edition of the Commonwealth spectacle in Glasgow in 2014, was due to compete in the 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly events, as well as the 100m and 200m freestyle.
Breaststroke specialist Van der Burgh, who earned 50m and 100m medals at the last two editions of the Games, would take to the blocks over both distances at Kings Park Aquatics Centre.
While US-based Olympic finalist Brad Tandy was not included in the entries, other swimmers hoping to make the Commonwealth squad included sprinter Douglas Erasmus, 19-year-old long-distance contender Matthew Meyer and a handful of other teenage prospects.
The women’s charge would be led by 20-year-old Tatjana Schoenmaker, the country’s only swimming medallist at the World Student Games in Taipei in August, who was expected to turn out in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke events, as well as the 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley.
“Our swimmers have a history of rising to the challenge to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and to compete for the highest honours at the Games. We wish all athletes the best of luck,” said SSA chief executive Shaun Adriaanse.
The national trials, incorporating various aquatics disciplines, were set to come to a close on Friday.