THERE were no surprises as swimming stalwarts Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh posted world qualifying times on the first day of the South African Swimming Championships in Durban.
Van der Burgh got the 100m breaststroke time out of the way in his semi-final when he touched the wall in a time of one minute, 00.07 seconds (1:00.07) booking his place to his sixth world long-course championships.
“Getting the job done, that is the most important thing, I am just happy to qualify in a year of changes,” Van der Burgh said.
Since winning the Rio Olympic Games, Van der Burgh has started a sports marketing company, got engaged, and has joined Le Clos’ swimming academy in Cape Town.
“It is nice to know that I can juggle the two, do the business and the training, but now going forward to the world championships I will have to put the business a bit on the blackfoot,” he said.
“If you want to be competitive you have to make sacrifices, so probably over the two to three months I will have to put the business down a bit and start working towards the world champs.”
Le Clos got his week off to a stellar start when he raced in the colours of Western Cape for the first time posting a qualifying time in the 100m freestyle racing in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
The multiple Olympic medallist touched the wall in a time of 48.64 seconds, dipping below the qualifying time of 48.93secs.
“I wanted to swim another 48 after Stellenbosch, which was a good swim for me. This was a lot better, this is a good time for me,” Le Clos said.“It is a good time for me, I’m just happy to back racing…I train really hard and I am just changing a few things.”
Knocking two seconds off his 400m freestyle personal best, Rio Olympian Matthew Meyer now has loftier goals for his specialist 1500m event at the South African Swimming Championships in Durban.
Meyer stopped the clock almost two seconds short of the word qualifying time in the 400m freestyle when he touched the wall in three minutes, 49.55 seconds (3:49.55). He managed to take off a big chunk off his previous life-time best of 3:51.57.
The 19-year-old said the goal was to slash at least another two or three seconds by the end of the year but the distance ace expected to break the national record in the 1500m at the weekend.
“That really sets me up for the 800m and the 1500m coming up which are my main two events, it was a second off my goal time but it was a good race and I feel good,” Meyer said.
“I’m really training hard for that 1500m. The main goal is to get under 15 minutes to try and get that national record.”
Meyer will be looking to slash his personal best my more than 12 seconds when he goes after Heerden Herman’s national record of 14:57.88 he set back in 2010.