Wendy Trott produced the outstanding performance of Saturday’s morning session at the South African National Swimming Championships and Olympic Trials in Durban when she all but assured herself qualification for London.
The Western Province swimmer recorded a time of eight minutes, 28.79 seconds to win her 800 metres freestyle heat.
Her time was well within the 8:33.84 qualification time for the Games, putting her comfortably clear of Michelle Weber (8:48.87) and Jessica Pengelly (8:51.04), who was the other heat winner.
Trott now progresses straight into Sunday’s final and having already recorded one A-standard time late last year, she has effectively assured herself a place in Team South Africa.
The country’s qualifying criteria requires all its Olympic hopefuls to swim below the standards twice during a 10-month period, including once this week.
There was also a near qualification time set in the 50m freestyle heats where veteran Roland Schoeman swam 22.28 to go through as the fastest qualifier.
The multiple Olympic medallist was just outside the A-standard mark of 22.11 as he ended ahead of the impressive Brad Tandy (22.52) and Gideon Louw (22.76).
Chad le Clos, with A-standard times in four events already this week, was the quickest over the 100m butterfly with 54.63, ahead of Heinrich Alberts (55.07) and Nico Meyer (55.15).
Mark Randall was surprisingly the fastest through the 1500m freestyle heats, swimming a time of 16:04.43 ahead of Heerden Herman (16:04.82), the only man that does have an A-standard time in the event.
Finally, Trudi Maree raced through the 50m freestyle quickest in 25.57, ahead of Sophie Edington (26.10). – Sapa