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Freestyle swimmers show progress at National Champs

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DURBAN – The fourth morning of the South African Swimming Championships in Durban came to a rather uneventful end with the men’s 100m freestyle heats providing some highlights.

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Douglas Erasmus won his 100m freestyle heat on Thursday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

It is slim pickings in the men’s 100m freestyle as South Africa holds onto any sliver of hope that a swimmer would make the step-up in the blue riband event.

Olympians Douglas Erasmus and Brad Tandy, and Commonwealth Youth gold medallist Zane Waddell dipped below 50 seconds in the morning heats pointing to some sort of progress compared to last year’s Olympic trials where sub-50 second times were in short supply.

Erasmus, who was the only swimmer to achieve this during the morning heats in 2016, once again led the way posting the fastest time on Thursday closing 49.85 seconds.

Olympic 50m freestyle finallist Tandy dipped below 50 seconds for the first time in his career with youth swimmer Waddell doing the same.

Tandy finished behind Erasmus in a time of 49.90secs with Waddell touching the wall first in his heat in a time of 49.99secs.

The trio were left to battle it out in the absence of Olympic gold medallist Chad le Clos, who scratched from the event having already posted a world qualifying time during Monday’s night’s relays when he clocked 48.64 seconds.

The usual suspects – Le Clos, Cameron van der Burgh, and Myles Brown – have already booked their places for the FINA World Swimming Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

In an attempt to get female swimmers to the global showpiece, Swimming SA will consider selection if they have posted B-qualifying times.

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Independent Media

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