Swimmers dodge SA winterComment on this story
Johannesburg - As the South African winter announces its arrival, the country's swimmers will be getting into the pool for the first leg of the three-meet Mare Nostrum Series in Monaco on Saturday.
The team - made up from most of the swimmers who will be going to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow - will be spearheaded by Chad le Clos and Karin Prinsloo.
Swimming SA's high-performance manager Dean Price said ideally they would keep the swimming squad in summer conditions as long as possible as they wanted to minimise the risk of the athletes getting sick.
“Our philosophy is to train and race, so we have a few of our Commonwealth swimmers over there, our main concern are that they keep on training and they get a lot of race experience through the Mare Nostrum competition,” Price said.
“We can't stay in the country because it is cold and we can't afford the swimmers to get sick. At the same time, we give them the opportunity to keep racing.
“If we want to medals we can't pretend that we can do it from here, so we have to keep them in the summer time as much as possible and we have to get them out racing.”
Le Clos, who won the 200m butterfly and the 400m individual medley at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, should be South Africa's biggest asset in Glasgow. He also collected silver in the 4x100m medley and bronze medals in the 4x100m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle in India.
He will be targeting individual events at the Commonwealth Games, and the Mare Nostrum will be the perfect gauge for the Olympic gold medallist.
He will be swimming the 400m and 200m individual medley, the 200m butterfly and the 200m freestyle in Monaco.
The 200m freestyle event will see Le Clos swimming against training partner Myles Brown, who will also be competing in the 400m freestyle at the two-day meet.
Le Clos will come up against 400m individual medley world champion Daiya Seto, who beat the South African in his favourite 200m butterfly race in Perth earlier this year.
He will also have stiff opposition from Hungarian five-time Olympic medallist Laszlo Cseh in three of the events.
Prinsloo, who has been in sizzling form this year, qualified in four events for the Commonwealth Games - 100m and 200m freestyle and 100m and 200m backstroke - will be swimming in three events in Monaco.
South Africa's queen of the pool will go up against a quality opposition in the Hungarian Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu and France's three-time Olympic medallist Camille Muffat.
The South African contingent also includes swimmers who are part of the team for the Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games.
SA Swimming squad: Women: Erin Gallagher, Trudi Maree, Lindsay Mcleod, Karin Prinsloo, Marlies Ross, Rene Warnes.
Men: Kevin Bargate, Martin Binedell, James Douglas Brooks, Myles Brown, Jarred Crous, Byron Doyle, Tristan Doyle, Douglas Erasmus, Lee Geeson, Clayton Jimmie, Calvin Justus, Chad le Clos, Clayton Muller, Darren Murray, Bailey Musgrave, Kevin Paul, Daniel Ronaldson, Timothy Sates, Leith Shankland, Joshau Steyn, JP van der Merwe, Jacques van Wyk, Joshua Walters, Reynard Wessels, Peter Wetzlar, Kyle Wittstock.