South African Swimming Championships 

2002 - Durban

11 - 16 April 2002 Kings Park, Durban

SA swimmer in hot water


Durban - While no sensational times were recorded on the first morning of the Telkom International Swimming Sprint challenge at the Kings Park Pool Thursday morning, top-seeded Gerhard Zandberg landed in hot water in the men's 50 metres backstroke.

Zandberg was disqualified despite recording the fastest qualifying time of 25,27 seconds. The Pretoria Aquatic club swimmer fell foul of the officials when he exceeded the time limit for remaining submerged after the turn.

As a result, only Daniel Lonmberg of Sweden prevented an all-South African final for Thursday evening as he snagged the eighth lane spot. The heat was won by Alain Tardin of Seagulls, Natal who got inside of his seeded time with the fastest recognised swim of the morning and a time of 26,79 secs.

Martina Marcova, of Slovakia, swimming for the International Invitation team, set the early pace as she turned in a time of 28,12 seconds in the women's 50 metres butterfly. Candice Nethercott of Linrand and Johanna Sjoberg of Sweden topped the heats stage and will be joined by Lauren Sparg (Mr Price Seagulls), Sara Nordenstam (Sweden), World champion Anna-Karen Kammerling of Sweden, Mandy Loots (South Africa) and Donna-Leah Horsfall of Kings Park Falcons in Thursday night's final.

As expected South Africans Brett Peterson, Terence Parkin and Brendon Dedekind dominated the men's 50 metres breaststroke in a comfortable qualifying swim with Swedish stars Jens Johansson and Martin Gutasfsson also earned finals places. Peterson won the heats stage in 28,20 seconds.

Sarah Poewe, heir apparent to the vacated throne of Penny Heyns, had to be content with a second placing in the women's 50 metres breaststroke behind Britain's Zoe Baker of the International side who took heat honours in 31,17 seconds.

South Africans Theo Verster (53,27) and Roland Schoeman led the way into the finals of the men's 100 metres butterfly with Lars Frolander of Sweden third.

Dolphins swimmers Mandy Loots and Liza-Mari Retief shared the podium with Emma Igelstrom of Sweden in the women's 200 metres butterfly. Loots reached her second final in 2mins 14,07 seconds.

Great Britain gained three spots in the final of the men's 200 metres freestyle. They were Edward Sinclair, Jamie Salter and Graeme Smith with winner Rudolf Wagenaar of Vinyard Western Province slashing his seeded time by nearly four seconds.

Likewise in the women's 100 metres freestyle it was a case of four Swedes -- Josefin Lillhage, Johanna Sjoberg, Ida Mattsson and Jenny Redlund - set to challenge the supremacy of Helene Muller who led the heats qualifiers in 56,61 secs.

Poewe, Charlene Wittstock, Melissa Corfe and Monique Malan dominated for South Africa in the women's 100 metres backstroke and likewise in the men's 400 metres individual medley Terence Parkin sprinted away from all opposition with an eight-seconds advantage at the final touch pad.

Marizanne Grudlingh of Vineyard led the women's 400 metres individual medley qualifiers with Sara Nordenstam of Sweden second and Candice Little of Gauteng third.

South African Championships - Day 1 Report

 12 April, 2002

The first day of the Telkom South African National swimming championships, which are also the Commonwealth Games trials, got underway at the Kings Park pool in Durban on Friday evening.

It was an evening that saw a number of upsets with the formbook being thrown out of the window.

Women's 400m Freestyle
KZN stalwart Kirsten van Heerden claimed the first gold of the championships when she won the 400m freestyle in 4:20.06. Maretha van Wyk (FS) took the silver in 4:23.40 with Marizanne Grundlingh (WP) claiming the bronze in 4:25.95. Pre race favourite, Melissa Corfe (KZN) was out of touch from the onset, feeling the effects of a nagging cough and had to settle for fifth place in a time of 4:28.14. Provincial teammate Kim van Selm claimed fourth place in a time of 4:28.09.

Although her winning time of 4 minutes 20.06 seconds was outside of the qualifying time set for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in July she still stands a good chance of inclusion in the SA team for her gold medal winning performance.

"I am so happy," said the 22-year-old psychology student at the University of Natal (Durban).

"Always the bridesmaid, never the bride!

"As a senior swimmer I have always been second at nationals, ever since I can remember, and now I can finally climb up on to the winner's place on the rostrum for my medal."

Men's 400m Freestyle
The men's 400m final saw Swiss national Dominik Meichtry dominate proceedings from the onset when he claimed his first South African senior title in a time of 3:59.68. Mark Randall from Border had a great swim from lane 1 when he claimed the silver in a time of 4:00.86 with James Wilcox (WP) doing enough to take the bronze ahead of George du Rand (FS) in 4:02.43. du Rand recorded a 4:05.10.

Women's 50m Freestyle: semi-final
Saturday night's final of this event is sure to be a cracker-jack affair. Both Helene Muller (CGA) (26.70) and Renate du Plessis (WP) (26.76) won their respective semi-final events in convincing fashion and the stage is now set for an exciting showdown. Fourteen-year-old Lauren Roets (NTS) posted the third fastest time with a 27.13 while Candice Crafford looked good shadowing Muller in 27.19. Nicola Stanley (KZN) cannot be discounted after recording a 27.20.

Men's 50m Freestyle: semi-final
Olympian Ryk Neethling is certainly a class act. He goes into Saturday nights final as the top seed after posting a 22.94 in the second heat ahead of KZN teammate Nick Folker who went a 23.55. Hendrick Odendaal (WP) also swimming in the second heat claimed the third fastest time when he recorded a 23.56. Gerhard Zandberg (NTS) won the first heat in a time of 23.64.

Women's 100m Breaststroke: semi-final
Sarah Poewe headed a strong Western Province challenge when she claimed the top spot in a 1:09.78 to enter tomorrow night's final a firm favourite to reclaim her title that she won at Ellis Park last year. Ingrid Haiden (1:11.87) led the formidable provincial challenge ahead of Natalie Burke (1:12.80) and Ziada Jardine (1:12.90). The promising Tamaryn Laubscher (NTS) followed in 1:13.87 with stalwart Tanya Hildebrand (CGA) next best in 1:14.02.

Men's 100m Breaststroke: semi-final
Brett Peterson (KZN) and Chris Stewart (CGA) were involved in an exciting tussle in the second heat of this event. Peterson recorded the fastest time with a 1:03.12 while Stewart posted a 1:03.90. Terence Parkin (KZN) showed his class with a powerful second lap to register the third fastest time of 1:03.90 when won the first semi ahead of Kurt Muller (FS) (1:04.41) and Greg Owen (CGA) (1:04.74).

Women's 200m Butterfly: semi-final
Mandy Loots (CGA) turned on the gas to advance comfortably into Saturday's final in a time of 2:16.81 well ahead of the pack with training partner, the diminutive Lisa-Marie Retief posting the second fastest time in 2:21.88. The Western Province duo of Jade Antunes (2:23.44) and Lana Piemontesi (2:23.51) along with Sarah English (2:23.66) from KZN are likely to battle it out for the minor placing.

Men's 200m Butterfly: semi-final
While Theo Verster from KZN seems to have the title in the bag yet again after comfortably posting a 2:05.84 the battle for the minor placing is sure to be an exciting affair. The promising Andrew Hogg (WP) looked good with a fast finish to enter the final seeded second after recording a time of 2:06.67 ahead of Raaizik Nordien(WP) who posted a 2:06.92. Kenneth Smith (KZN) had an encouraging swim when he went a 2:08.05 while the up and coming Dustin Dale (CGA) (2:09.28) cannot be discounted.

Women's 200m Backstroke: semi-final
Nothing counts like experience and this event saw Charlene Wittstock step up a level when she posted a respectable 2:16.59 to advance to Saturday's final as the firm favourite for the title. Melissa Corfe (KZN) put her disappointing effort in the 400m freestyle behind her to post the second fastest time of 2:21.40, well ahead of Candice Little (CGA) (2:23.03) and Romy Altman (WP) (2:23.05)

Men's 200m Backstroke: semi-final
What an exciting final this event promises to be. Jeff Norton (KZN) pulled out all the stops to go into tomorrow nights final as the top seed when he went a 2:06.37, a shade faster than Gareth McGee (KZN) who posted a 2:06.44. A tad off the pace was Pieter Pelser (FS) in a time of 2:07.22 with Carl Marais (NTS) hanging in on 2:08.01. George du Rand (FS) had to settle for a 2:09.75.

Women's 4x100 freestyle relay
The Central Guateng combination of Mandy Loots, Leanne Calderia, Sasha Schwendenwein and Helene Muller claimed the gold in the ladies 400m freestyle relay in a time of 3:54.75. Kwa-Zulu Natal took the silver in 3:57.54, while Western Province won bronze in 3:58.95.

Men's 4x100 freestyle relay
The men's race saw the Kwa-Zulu Natal combination of Stephen Ackerman, Chris Sparks, Nick Folker and Ryk Neethling claim a narrow victory over the Western Province combination of Hendrick Odendaal, Brett Wood, Rudolf Wagenaar and James Wilcox. KZN took the honours with a 3:28.64 against Province's time of 3:28.85. Northern Tigers claimed bronze in 3:31.67.

Van Heerden wins first SA title


Although her winning time of 4 minutes 20.06 seconds was outside of the qualifying time set for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in July she still stands a good chance of inclusion in the SA team for her gold medal winning performance.

"I am so happy," said the 22-year-old psychology student at the University of Natal (Durban).

"Always the bridesmaid, never the bride!

"As a senior swimmer I have always been second at nationals, ever since I can remember, and now I can finally climb up on to the winner's place on the rostrum for my medal."

The eight finalists were led out by Free State's Maretha van Wyk in a 1:01.53 first 100m but Van Heerden had eased herself into a one second advantage by the turn at half-way and increased this by the 300m mark against Van Wyk with Marizanne Grundlingh (WP) closing in and defending champion Kim van Selm (KZN) fourth.

But Van Heerden held on to win the first gold medal of the championships with Van Wyk second in 4:23.40 and Grundlingh third in 4:25.95.

Second on the podium for the men's 400m freestyle gold medal was 20-year-old newcomer to the championships Dominic Meichtry (Central Gauteng), the fastest qualifier, who dipped under the four-minute barrier to win in 3:59.68.

Mark Randall (Border) was second in 4:00.86 and James Willcox (WP) third in 4:02.43.

In men's semi-final 50m freestyle action KZN's Ryk Neethling and Nick Folker were fastest qualifiers in 22.94 and 23.55 respectively from Hendrik Odendaal (WP, 23.56) and Gerhard Zandberg (NT, 23.64).

Heading the list of qualifiers for tonight's women's 50m freestyle final are Helene Muller (CG, 26.70), Renate du Plessis (WP, 26.76), Lauren Roets (NT, 27.13) and KZN's Candice Crafford (27.19) and Nicola Stanley (27.20).

Sarah Poewe (WP) came closest to a Commonwealth Games qualification (1:08.02) in the women's 100m breaststroke with a winning semi-final time of 1:09.78 with Brett Peterson (KZN) heading the men's finalists on 1:03.12 from Christopher Stewart (CG, 1:03.34) and Terence Parkin (KZN, 1:03.90).

Theo Verster (KZN) and Mandy Loots (CG) start favourites tonight to win their 200m butterfly finals with winning semi-final times of 2:05.84 and 2:16.81 respectively.

Loots, 23, was a good five seconds ahead of second-placed Team-mate teenager Lize-Marie Retief, 15, while 27-year-old Verster will be challenged tonight by WP's Andrew Hogg, 17, and title-holder Raazik Nordien, 19.

Results from the SA Swimming Championships, Durban


50m freestyle: 1 Ryk Neethling (KZN) 23.02, 2 Nick Folker (KZN) 23.43, 3 Gerhard Zandberg (NT) 23.44

100m Breaststroke: 1 Brett Peterson (KZN) 1:02.20, 2 Christopher Stewart (CG) 1:02.79, 3 Terence Parkin (KZN) 1:03.35

200m Butterfly: 1 Theo Verster (KZN) 2:02.62, 2 Raazik Nordien (WP) 2:03.48, 3 Terence Parkin (KZN) 2:06.32

200m Backstroke: 1 George du Rand (FS) 2:05.98, 2 Jeff Norton (KZN) 2:06.06, 3 Carl Marais (NT) 2:06.08


50m freestyle: 1 Helene Muller (CG) 26.12, 2 Renate du Plessis (WP) 26.80, 3 M Greyling (KZN) 27.09

100m Breaststroke: 1 Sarah Poewe (WP) 1:08.65, 2 Ingrid Haiden (WP) 1:11.94, 3 Ziada Jardine (WP) 1:12.30

200m Butterfly: 1 Mandy Loots (CG) 2:15.94, 2 Lize-Marie Retief (CG) 2:19.29, 3 Lana Piemontesi (WP) 2:21.06

200m Backstroke: 1 Charlene Wittstock (KZN) 2:15.80, 2 Melissa Corfe (KZN) 2:17.11, 3 Romy Altmann (WP) 2:19.16

800m Freestyle relay: 1 KZN 1 8:30.68, 2 Central Gauteng 8:32.71, 3 Western Province 8:33.60

2002 South African Swimming Championships - Day 5 Report

16 April, 2002

Excitement and controversy highlighted the fifth day of the Telkom South African National swimming championships that are currently underway at the Kings Park Pool in Durban on Tuesday.

The excitement stemmed from the many exciting swim

Excitement and controversy highlighted the fifth day of the Telkom South African National swimming championships that are currently underway at the Kings Park Pool in Durban on Tuesday.

The excitement stemmed from the many exciting swims that were witnessed by the near capacity crowd that turned out to witness some of South Africa's premier swimmers in action. Controversy when a swimmer took a "running start" during the relay event, resulting in a number of protests and counter protests. The question on everyone's lips, why did the judge and referee not see it.

The issue has been referred to swimming's highest authority, FINA, who will pass judgement on this matter.

Women's 100m Freestyle semi final
Helene Muller (CGA) enters tomorrow nights final as the firm favourite to claim yet another title at these championships after winning the second semi final in convincing fashion in 57.22. The promising Nicola Stanley (KZN) shadowed Muller to post a 58.66 and will line up next to her.

The 14-year-old Lauren Roets (NTS) who was victorious in the first semi final has the next best time with a 59.15. Melanie Greyling (KZN) who pushed Roets all the way recorded a 59.16 with Leanne Caldeira (CGA) next best on 59.37.

While Muller seems a certainty to claim the title the battle for the minor placing is sure to be a fierce one which will ensure some exciting racing.

Men's 100m Freestyle
What a class act. Olympian and multiple NCAA champion Ryk Neethling once again delivered a clinical display in claiming yet another National title when he won this event with ease in a 50.66.

Going into the wall slightly ahead of the chasing pack, Neethling extended his stoke and claimed the title in convincing fashion.

Hendrick Odendaal (WP) did well to claim the silver in 51.38 from the promising Lyndon Ferns (NP) who recorded a 51.51 ahead of Stephan Ackermann (KZN) who with his 51.87 did enough to hold off Nick Folker (KZN) (51.96).

Women's 50m Breastroke semi-final
Ingrid Haiden (WP) who claimed the first semi-final in 33.47 was overshadowed by her more illustrious training partners, Sarah Poewe (32.64) and Ziada Jardine (33.47) who claimed the top two places for tomorrow nights final in the second semi.

Claire Williams, also from Western Province, posted a 33.75, while Tamaryn Laubscher swimming from lane two in the first semi was next in 34.39, a shade ahead of the 13-year-old Suzaan van Biljon who did a 34.40 from lane two in the second heat.

The most encouraging performance of the semis was the 34.50 of Liz Haupt (CGA) who at the age of 30 years old had made a welcome return to the pool. Formally Liz Peacock this lady was one of the most promising breastrokers during South Africa's isolation period and should serve as an inspiration to the youngsters that she trains.

Men's 50m Breaststroke semi-final
The presence of Brett Peterson (KZN) in the second semi-final ensured that the bulk of the finalists came from this heat. Peterson out in a flash posted a credible 28.48 just off the Commonwealth games QT of 28.33 and his national mark of 28.05 established at a time trial during the All Africa games at Ellis park in 1999.

Former Continental and National record holder Chris Stewart (CGA) who went a 29.27 a shade ahead of the up and coming 18 year old from Western province, Ian Clutten who recorded a 29.35, followed him.

Another star of the future, the 18-year-old Kurt Muller from Free State will line up ahead of the current titleholder Louis Lotter (NTS) after posting a 29.46 to 29.85.

The winner of the first semi-final, Brad Toerien (KZN) just made the final in 29.86 against coloured swimmer, Grant Galant (WP) who went a 29.90. Indications are that gallant will be making the trip to Manchester in July as one of the "development swimmers" in the South African squad.

Women's 50m Backstroke semi-final
Another cracker-jack affair is on the offering in tomorrow nights final as Charlene Wittstock (KZN) comes head to head with the inform and rested Renate du Plessis (WP) as these two ladies emerged as the top seed after the semis.

Wittstock won the first semi comfortably in 1:04.05 while du Plessis had similar fortune in the second semi recording a 1:04.38.

The will be joined by a host of promising youngsters which include Romy Altmann (WP) who went a 1:06.14, well ahead of the dynamic Melissa Corfe (KZN) who recorded a 1:06.99.

Only Monique Malan (KZN) seems a likely challenger for the minor placing after posting a 1:07.14. What a challenge it promises to be.

Men's 50m Backstroke semi-final
With six swimmers grouped on the 59-second mark, this event should be one of the most closely contested affairs to the final days competition.

Heading the pack is the Swiss national Alain Tardin (KZN) who looked relaxed in posting a 59.15 ahead of archrival Jeff Norton (KZN) who went a 59.20.

The explosive Gerhard Zandberg (NTS) will be these correspondents favourite after an effortless 59.25, while his training partner Carl Marais is sure to be a serious medal contender after going a 59.39.

Others in the picture include Ryan Heydenrych (WP) who went a 59.47 while Gareth McGee can never be under estimated after his 59.72.

Women's 200m Individual Medley
Its such a pity that the diminutive Gauteng flyer, Mandy Loots has not seen fit to enter this event due to other commitments. The versatile Loots would have without a doubt claimed the title in a less congested program and taken many of the competitors to greater heights.

Be that as it may, she wasn't and it was left to Candice Little to finally realise her dream. The Central Gauteng swimmer trailed a tad after the first half of the race behind Marizanne Grundlingh (WP) 1:07.03/1:07.31, but after an awesome breaststroke leg the writing was on the wall and Little claimed victory in a 2:20.88 well off Loots' national mark of 2:18.06.

The game Grundlingh held on to claim silver in a time of 2:22.73 ahead of a fast finishing Erna Wademeyer (NTS) (2:23.44) who posted the fastest back 100m with a scorching 1:13.20.

This 16 year old lass who hails from Pretoria certainly has a bright future ahead of her and is destined to become a star of the future if handled correctly.

Men's 200m Individual Medley
Still aiming for that elusive Commonwealth Games QT the showdown between the stalwart, Theo Verster (KZN) and the indomitable Terence Parkin in this event was much anticipated.

Verster's prowess in the butterfly leg gave him a slight advantage, which he hung onto during the backstroke leg and at the halfway mark he held a slight advantage over Parkin (58.45/58.50).

Parkin hunted him down over the breaststroke leg and turned for the home straight with a slight advantage. The writing was on the wall, or was it?

With 20m to go Verster had drawn level with Parkin and edged on by an extremely vocal crowd the stalwart who has enjoyed a purple patch of late charged into the wall to gain a significant victory over his arch rival. His time of 2:03.63 was despite missing the elusive Commonwealth Games QT a credible one.

Parkins effort of 2:04.48 was a good one under the circumstances as he was involved in a motorcar accident during the afternoon and perhaps this effected him. The promising Darian Townsend, always in the picture, claimed his first senior nationals medal when he secured the bronze in a credible 2:08.07.

Women's 50m Butterfly semi-final
Lauren Sparg (KZN) established a new South African age group record for 17-year-old girls when she posted a 28.42 in the first semi-final of this event. Her time was ,30 faster than the 1998 mark established by Candice Nethercott.

She will also enter tomorrow nights final as the number two seed after finishing ahead of Mandy Loots who seemed comfortable with her 28.54.

The powerful Renate du Plessis (WP) powered her way to a time of 28.07 in claiming top spot for the final. Candice Crafford (KZN) (28.89) and the up and coming Lisa-Marie Retief (CGA) (29.10) are next best, while the promising Lauren Roets (NTS) (29.40) can never be underestimated.

The final should be a crackerjack affair.

Men's 50m Butterfly semi-final
Theo Verster failed to qualify for this final after posting a pedestrian 26.33 in the first heat to finish in 12th place.

Western Province's Hendrick Odendaal (25.10) was the man of the moment when he recorded the fastest time of the semis. He should however not rest on his laurels as danger lurks in the form of the "young guns", Stephan Ackermann(KZN) (24.43) and Lynden Ferns (NP) (25.44).

These three however should be in the medals while Mathew Palmer (Bor) and Kurt Muller (FS) who both posted a 25.66 are the dark horses.

South African SC Champs & International Challenge - Day 1

4 January 2002

The indomnible Terence Parkin (Mr. Price Seagulls) showed a clean set of heels when he powered his way to a new Continental mark of 4.08.19 in the Individual Medley during the opening night of the Telkom SA short course championships in Durban on Thursday night.

The championships had a distinct international flavor to it and the capacity crowd were not disappointed. Competitors from Sweden, Great Britain, Slovakia, Slovinia and the USA have been invited to test the metal of the local swimmers.

Parkin came into the final 200m a tad off the British duo of Stephen Parry (4:15.90) and Adrian Turner (4:18.16) to post a phenomenal back leg in slashing nearly two and a half seconds off his mark of 4:10.56 set at the FINA World SC Championships in Athens in March 2000.

His winning time of 4:08.19 is the second fastest time of the current season behind Italian ace Alessio Boggiatto who posted a 4:06.99 at the recent European SC Championships in Antwerp and augers well for the forthcoming world championships to be held in Moscow.

His win overshadowed the effort of his club mate Rohan Jacobs, who at only 14 years old claimed sixth place in a South African age group record of 4:40.54 eclipsing his mark of 4:42.71 set in the mornings heats. This correspondent predicts a bright future for this up and coming youngster.

In his opening address, Mr. Gideon Sam the President of Swimming South Africa welcomed all to the Zulu Kingdom, that forms part of the African continent, which is a beautiful part of South Africa that personifies what the Rainbow Nation is all about. Beautiful people, beautiful beaches, beautiful landscape and beautiful game reserves.

He added that he hoped that the international visitors would leave this part of the world wiser and enriched by the experience. He thanked them for coming to South Africa to support the federations' efforts to promote and spread the support of swimming.

Sam also indicated that this was to be a "test case" for bigger things to come. The Federation has agreed in principal to stage the Penny Heyns Invitational in the future. This meet will pay tribute to a lady who has made her mark on the aquatics world.

He hoped that the internationally invited swimmers would consider favorably an invitation to come back to the Republic, where he felt the swimming world would witness an awakening giant that is South Africa.

The evening's proceedings got underway with the quarterfinal elimination rounds of the International Sprint Challenge.

The ladies 50m butterfly got proceedings underway. Here it was the Swedish duo of Johanna Sjoberg (27.30) and Anna-Karen Kammerling (27.37) who advanced to the evening's semi-final elimination along with Slovakian Martina Maricova (28.19) and Candice Nethercott (Linrand - CGA) who posted a 28.17.

The men's 50m breastroke followed and the local trio of Brett Peterson (Mr. Price Seagulls) (27.87), Brendon Dedekind (Pietermaritzburg Seals) (28.15) and Parkin (28.26) headed the challenge with Sweden's Jens Johanssen (28.39) completing the quartet.

The woman's 50m breastroke is sure to be a crackerjack affair with the inform Zoe Baker from Great Britain heading the challenge in a impressive 30.70. She was followed by local lass Sarah Poewe (Vineyards) (31.08) with Emma Igelstroom (31.30) from Sweden a tad ahead of the USA's Amanda Beard (31.48).

The 50m backstroke for men completed the challenge with the Swedish duo of Jens Petersson (25.94) and Daniel Lonnberg (25.99) heading the field with the Mr. Price Seagulls duo of Simon Thirsk (26.22) and the up and coming Alain Tardin (26.52) progressing through.

The men's 100m-butterfly semi final followed and it was Swedens' Olympic champion Lars Frolander who was pushed all the way by Theo Verster (Pietrmaritzburg Seals) to claim top spot for tomorrow nights' final. Frolander advanced in a time of 52.71 while a fast finishing Verster claimed a 52.72. Roland Schoeman won his heat comfortably in a time of 53.32 and the stage has been set for a fast final.

The ladies 100m freestyle saw Helene Muller (Dolphins) claim top spot for tomorrow nights final in a 55.72 marginally ahead of Swedens' Johanna Sjoberg (55.80). Christy Cech from Pietermaritzburg Seals claimed third spot in 56.16 ahead of the Swedish duo of Cathrin Carlzon (56.44) and Jenny Redlund (57.45), while the promising youngster Melissa Corfe (Mr. Price Seagulls) 57.77 can never be underestimated. The 100m backstroke for woman saw Sarah Price from Great Britain show her class when she claimed the top spot for tomorrow nights final in a fast 1:00.45, while Charlene Wittstock (Mr. Price Seagulls) looked comfortable posting a 1:01.38 with the promising Romina Armellini (Wanderers) claiming the third fastest time in 1:02.69. The 15 year old Melissa Corfe showed her versatility when she headed the pack in 1:03.36 and cannot be underestimated.

The first final of the evening saw Mandy Loots post a world championships qualifying time in the 200m butterfly when she went a 2:10.35 ahead another rising star and Dolphins teammate Lize-Marie Retief. The 15 year old Retief posted a 2:14.10 ahead of the illustrious Emma Igelstrom from Sweden who had to settle for bronze in 2:15.38.

British distance swimming has come on in leaps and bounds since the appointment of Bill Sweetnam as head coach and this was evident in the men's 200m freestyle when the duo of Jamie Salter (1:48.73) and Edward Sinclear (1:49.80) claimed the top two places in convincing fashion. Stephen Ackerman (Mr. Price Seagulls) (1:50.17) turned in a gutsy performance to edge out another Briton, Greame Smith (1:51.43) to prevent a clean sweep of the medals by the visitors.

In the evenings last individual final it was Sara Nordenstam from Sweden who totally dominated the ladies 400 individual medley in 4:41.15 well ahead of the promising duo of Marizanne Grundlingh (Vineyards) (4:52.53) and Candice Little (Mustangs) (4:50.52) who were involved in an exciting duel for the minor placing.

The semi-final elimination rounds of the Telkom International Sprint Challenge followed.

The ladies 50m butterfly saw Martina Maricova advance to tomorrow nights' final posting a 26.87 ahead of Candice Nethercott (27.87) and will be joined in the showdown by Anna-Karin Kammerling (27.37) who edged out compatriot Johanna Sjoburg (27.25) in the other swim-off.

The men's backstroke final tomorrow night will be an all Swedish affair with Jen Petersson coming head to head with compatriot Daniel Lonnberg. Petersson took care Simon Thirsk when he edged him out at the wall posting a 25.60 to Thirsks'26, 00 while Lonnberg (25.74) won comfortably against Tardin (26.78). The woman's breaststroke is sure to be a scintillating affair with Zoe Baker (30.70) having posted the fastest time when she accounted for Emma Igelstom (30.90). She will come face to face with local ace Sarah Poewe (30.82) who had to work hard for her win over Amanda Beard (31.18).

The men's breastroke saw Jens Johansson and Brendon Dedekind post a dead heat time of 28.30. This resulted in a swim-off with the Swede claiming a spot in the final when he pulled out all the stops to go one better in a time of 28.16 while the game South African had to settle for a 28.49. Johansson will come up against Brett Peterson who accounted for teammate Terence Parkin when he scorched to a 27.84. Parkin posted a 28.31.

The ladies 1500m freestyle timed final followed with the return to top-flight competition of Natalie du Toit. In claiming second place in a time of 16:49.87 the courageous Cape Town schoolgirl has confounded critics and in less than a year after tragically losing her lower left leg in a motor accident has returned to top flight competition in an effort to attain her goal, that of participating in the Olympic games. The event was won by Maretha van Wyk (Supersport Seals Health) in a time of 16:46.79, while Kristi Kuhlmey claimed bronze in 17:23.45 a tad off the pace.

Strand Winter Gala

2 JULY 2002

Women 400m freestyle: 1 Marizane Grundlingh 4.31.82 (Vine); 2 Natalie du Toit 4.32.82 (Vine); 3 Romy Altmann 4.44.03 (C Bay)

Girls 9-10 50m backstroke: 1 Bridgett Clampett 38.22 (Dolph); 2 Jessica Pengelly 39.27 (Stra) ;3 Keren Schwartz 39.72 (Tyg)

Girls 11-12 200m ind medley: 1 Wilechia Vraagom 2.40.24 (Tyg); 2 Chanelle v Wyk 2.41.06 (Vine); 3 Leone` Watkins 2.43.22 (Tyg)

Girls 13-14 100m Freestyle: 1 Monique v Meyeren 1.02.95 (Vine); 2 Nahn v Wyk 1.03.66 (Stra); 3 Kendall Loots 1.04.81 (Barr)

Women 200 backstroke: 1 Romy Altmann 2.20.86 (C Bay); 2 Monique v Meyeren 2.29.22 (Vine); 3 Sarah Ferguson 2.31.95 (Dolph)

Women 100m fly: 1 Belinda Wood 1.05.78 (Stra); 2 Lana Piemontesi 1.06.22 (Vine); 3 Christine Zwiegers 1.08.66 (Stra)

Men 400m freestyle: 1 Andrew Hogg 4.22.25 (Stra); 2 Matthew Josephson 4.26.48 (C Bay); 3 Christoff Kotze` 4.31.18 (Vine)

Boys 9-10 50m backstroke: 1 Jean Vermeulen 37.94 (Vine); 2 Matthew Malan 38.09 (PEA-EP); 3 Matthew Bromley 38.97 (Dolph)

Boys 11-12 200m ind medley: 1 Schalk Jooste 2.42.36 (BellAq); 2 Rory Julyan 2.43.63 (Dolph); 3 Kurt Hesse 2.46.96 (Vine)

Boys 13-14 100m freestyle: 1 Marnitz du Plessis 58.73 (Stell); 2 Craig Jordens 59.46 (Dolph); 3 Ian Permall 1.00.20 (Tyg)

Men 200m backstroke: 1 Chris King 2.14.11 (Dolph); 2 Brett Rogers 2.14.49 (Vine); 3 Jeandre` Geldenhuys 2.21.94 (WH&FC)

Men 100m fly: 1 Andrew Hogg 58.29 (Stra); 2 Shaun Harris 59.13 (PEA-EP); 3 Brett Wood 59.68 (Stell)

Girls 9-10 50m free: 1 Bridget Clampett 33.54 (Dolph); 2 Jessica Pengelly 34.31 (Stra); 3 Luzaan Preston 34.95 (PEA-EP)

Women 100m freestyle: 1 Romy Altmann 1.01.33 (C Bay); 2 Christine Zwiegers 1.01.66 (Stra); 3 Jadine Louw 1.02.14 (Vine)

Women 100m breaststroke: 1 Ziada Jardine 1.15.05 (Vine); 2 Claire Williams 1.15.26 (Vine); 3 Kim Bonney 1.18.36 (Vine)

Women 400m ind medley: 1 Marizane Grundlingh 5.07.15 (Vine); 2 Jadine Louw 5.18.06 (Vine); 3 Belinda Wood 5.21.56 (Stra)

Boys 9-10 50m freestyle: 1 Kevin Paul 32.71 (Tyg); 2 Arlin Lincoln 33.18 (Vine); 3 Matthew Bromley 33.64 (Dolph)

Men 100m freestyle: 1 Shaun Harris 53.36 (PEA-EP); 2 Mike Paulus 53.84 (Stra); 3 Brett Wood 54.46 (Stell)

Men 100m breaststroke: 1 Ian Clutten 1.07.49 (Vine); 2 Jan-Hendrik Badenhorst 1.07.91 (Vine); 3 Grant Galant 1.09.29 Retreat

Men 400m ind medley: 1 Chris King 4.57.15 (Dolph); 2 Andrew Hogg 5.04.77 (Stra); 3 Abri Stegmann 5.14.23 (WH&FC)