South African Swimming Championships 

2006 - Durban

16 - 21 April 2006

Emphatic victories at national swimming championships

21 April 2006

craig groenewald

Craig Groenewald

It was a night of emphatic victories on day three of the Telkom South African National Swimming Championships in Durban on Thursday.

Jean Basson came within just one-100th of a second of his best time as he cruised to victory in the 200m freestyle. The 18-year-old swimmer had little trouble from his rivals throughout the race and finished in 1:49,57, more than three seconds clear of second-placed Jasper Venter (1:52,70) and third-placed Eugene Hulley (1:53,86).

While it seemed like a comfortable swim for Basson, he admitted afterwards that it “definitely wasn’t easy”.

“It was one of the toughest 200s I’ve ever swum. We just got back from Australia where I was swimming at the Commonwealth Games and I’m still pretty tired, I think.

“I swam my best time in the semifinal yesterday and was only a hundredth off it tonight, so I’m pretty happy.”

Basson will be heading to the University of Arizona in August where he will join three of the “awesome foursome” who won Olympic relay gold in Athens two years ago—Roland Schoeman, Lyndon Ferns and Darian Townsend.

“I can’t wait—it can’t come quick enough,” said the enthusiastic Basson. “There are guys I know there and it will push me to train harder. I’ll also start doing gym work, which I haven’t done before, and fix up my starts and turns—which they do a lot of over there,” he added.

Later in the evening, 16-year-old Cape Town swimmer Wendy Trott bagged her third consecutive 800m freestyle title.

Swimming in lane one, Trott went out in front from the start and eventually finished more than 10 seconds ahead of second-placed Kathryn Meaklim (9:00,67). Trott’s training partner, five-time Paralympic champion Natalie du Toit, who recently collected double gold at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, finished third in 9:00,95, narrowly missing out on her first dip below the nine-minute mark.

“I quite enjoyed swimming in lane one because my coach could show me my times during the race,” explained Trott afterwards. “It didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped, but I think I’m tired from my 200m freestyle [the semifinal in which she finished third quickest earlier in the evening] and it’s been hard to keep racing since the Commonwealth Games.”

Trott, who is now aiming for selection for the World Youth Championships in Brazil later this year, still has the 1 500m freestyle and the 400m individual medley to go and reckoned: “I’ll just give it my best shot and see how it goes.”

Meanwhile, there was a rush of finals in the disabled events. Central Gauteng’s Craig Groenewald (1:03,79) and Theresa Goh of Singapore (2:07,27) took the 100m butterfly titles, while Guillermo Marro of Argentina (36,69) and Central Gauteng’s Shireen Sapiro (38,90) claimed top honours in the 50m backstroke.

National swimming results


Durban - Results from the National Swimming Championships in Durban.


50m breaststroke: 1 Louis Lotter (NT) 28,72; 2 Cameron van den Burgh (NT) 29,07; 3 William Diering (NT) 29,34; 4 Thabang Moeketsane (CG) 29,43; 5 Nathan Lavery (NT) 29,52; 6 Cajun Skinner (NT) 29,66; 7 Donaven van der Merwe (NT) 30,02; 8 Marc Seaman (EP) 30,09

50m breaststroke (multidisability): 1 Tadhg Slattery (CG) 43,64; 2 Craig Groenewald (CG) 34,53; 3 Sibusiso Mogale (CG) 45,87; 4 Ariel Quassi (Argentina) 55,72; 5 Hendrik van der Merwe (CG) 51,11; 6 Alexandre Doret (CG) 36,30

50m butterfly: 1 Fouche Venter (NT) 25,34; 2 Rohan Jacobs (KZN) 25,43; 3 Greg Kieck (EP) 25,50; 4 Neil Watson (CG) 25,61; 5 David van der Bijl (CG) 25,84; 6 Donaven van der Merwe (NT) 25,87; 7 Shaun Harris (EP) 26,07; 8 Kristophe Matulovich (CG) 26,10

400m individual medley: 1 Terence Parkin (KZN) 4:28,80; 2 Jay-Cee Thomson (CG) 4:29,47; 3 Riaan Schoeman (KZN) 4:30,01; 4 Jean Basson (CG) 4:31,21; 5 Byron Fergusson (NT) 4:31,67; 6 Stuart Rogers (CG) 4:32,74; 7 Rousseau Kluever (WP) 4:38,18; 8 Rodney Peach (NT) 4:43,32

100m backstroke (multidisability): 1 Guillermo Marro (Argentina) 1:18,90; 2 Tiaan du Plessis (KZN) 1:17,49; 3 Juan Rosatti (Argentina) 1:12,15; 4 Craig Groenewald (CG) 1:12,70; 5 David Coates (KZN) 1:14,85; 6 Tadhg Slattery (CG) 1:31,59; 7 Hendrik van der Merwe (CG) 1:53,48

100m backstroke: 1 Gerhard Zandberg (NT) 56,68; 2 Garth Tune (CG) 1500m freestyle: 1 Troyden Prinsloo (NT) 15:12,12; =2 Morne Boshoff (NT) 15:56,98; =2 Shane Fantham (NT) 15:56,98; 4 John Ellis (KZN) 16:00,23; 5

Dustin Dale (CG) 16:03,59; 6 Chad Ho (KZN) 16:04,13; 7 Pieter Swart (NT) 16:18,88; 8 Ruan Bester (FS) 16:32,11

4x100m medley relay: 1 NT (Gerhard Zandberg, William Diering, Fouche Venter, Gideon Louw) 3:46,07; 2 CG (Garth Tune, Thabang Moeketsane, David van der Bijl, Jean Basson) 3:49,02; 3 KZN (Alain Tardin, Neil Versveld, Rohan Jacobs, Sean Swanepoel) 3:52,05; 4 NT B 3:53,71; 5 EP 3:54,99; 6 KZN B 3:56,01; 7 WP 3:56,28; 8 FS 3:58,10


100m freestyle: 1 Lauren Roets (CG) 56,60; 2 Marielle Rogers (KZN) 58,12; 3 tanya Strydom (KZN) 58,13; 4 Leone Vorster (NP) 58,23; 5 Karin Prinsloo (NT) 58,63; 6 Christy Lategan (NW) 59,24; 7 Kirsten van Heerden (KZN) 59,53; 8 Paige Smith (KZN) 59,90

50m breaststroke (multidisability): 1 Theresa Goh (Singapore) 54,24; 2 Jessica Knight (KZN) 42,90; 3 Anne Rasmussen (Norway) 49,15; 4 Emily Gray (Norway) 49,64; 5 Elise Olsen (Norway) 1:38,78; 6 Cornelia Fowler (KZN) 48,69

50m breaststroke: 1 Suzaan van Biljon (NT) 32,77; 2 Amber Roe (EP) 33,73; 3 Courtnay Mower (KZN) 34,08; 4 Daniella Zaverdinos (WP) 34,11; 5 Claire Rolt (NT) 34,16; 6 Jean-Marie Neethling (GW) 34,28; 7 Andy Landau (CG) 34,30; 8 Sigourney Kruger (NT) 34,42

50m butterfly: 1 Mandy Loots (CG) 27,89; 2 Elzanne Werth (CG) 28,19; 3 Keri Shaw (NT) 28,23; 4 Chanelle van Wyk (NT) 28,45; 5 Charne Gehring (NT) 28,66; 6 Donna-Leah Horsfall (KZN) 28,98; 7 Megan Scott (CG) 29,51; 8 Kirsten van Heerden (KZN) 29,57

400m individual medley: 1 Jessica Pengelly (WP) 4:52,52; 2 Bianca Meyer (NT) 4:53,32; 3 Wendy Trott (WP) 4:55,41; 4 Kathryn Meaklim (KZN) 4:56,61; 5 Claire Archibald (CG) 4:59,71; 6 Tamzin McGee (CG) 5:10,72; 7 Samantha Meyer (CG) 5:17,76

100m backstroke (multidisability): 1 Mariann Vestbostad (Norway) 1:25,73; 2 Shireen Sapiro (CG) 1:22,29; 3 Emily Gray (CG) 1:22,56; 4 Jessica Knight (KZN) 1:21,59; 5 Dot Smit (NT) 1:30,49; 6 Elise Olsen (Norway) 3:03,92; 7 Linn Haugen (Norway) 1:40,24

100m backstroke: 1 Melissa Corfe (KZN) 1:04,49; 2 Karin Prinsloo (NT) 1:04,91; 3 Lehesta Kemp (NT) 1:05,66; 4 Tannith Prout (CG) 1:06,28; 5 Tanya Bouffe (KZN) 1:06,84; 6 Sabrina Meurer (NT) 1:07,08; 7 Roxanne Meyer (CG) 1:07,57; 8 Sharne Franklin (FS) 1:10,18

4x100m medley relay: 1 NT (Karin Prinsloo, Suzaan van Biljon, Keri Shaw, Rene Mouton) 4:14,34; 2 CG (Tannith Prout, Claire Archibald, Mandy Loots, Lauren Roets) 4:16,75; 3 KZN (Melissa Corfe, Courtnay Mower, Kirsten van Heerden, Tanya Strydom) 4:23,05; 4 NT B 4:24,72; 5 WP 4:26,04; 6 CG B 4:28,55; 7 FS 4:33,03; 8 KZN B 4:33,24

5km SA Open Water Championships, Hazelmere Dam


1 Chad Ho (KZN) 59:00; 2 Shaun Dias (KZN) 59,04; 3 Charl van Zyl (KZN) 59,31; 4 James Faure (WP) 59,32; 5 Kenneth Smith (NT) 59,58; 6 Alain Lotriet (FS) 1:00,28; 7 Heerden Herman (WP) 1:01,30; 8 James Todd (WP) 1:02,57; 9 Jan Kriel (FS) 1:03,02; 10 Mark de Swardt (KZN) 1:04,35


1 Yolandi van der Merwe (WP) 1:02,07; 2 Velia Janse van Rensburg (EP) 1:02,09; =3 Demi Drakopoulos (KZN) 1:02,10; =3 Louis Smyth 1:02,10; 5 Alison-Jayne Logan (KZN) 1:03,08; 6 Kirsten Mower (KZN) 1:05,02; 7 Che Fryer (KZN) 1:05,21; 8 Rene Warnes (KZN) 1:06,07; 9 Mia Grundlingh (KZN) 1:06,46; 10 Nadia Swart (NT) 1:09,38.

South African Champs Come to a Close

23 April 2006

DURBAN, South Africa, April 24. THREE swimmers used the final evening of the Telkom South African National Championships to collect their fourth titles of the competition in Durban on Sunday. And after the evening’s proceedings, Gerhard Zandberg, Melissa Corfe and Suzaan van Biljon were named as the swimmers of the competition.

Zandberg, who already had the 50 backstroke and 50 and 100m freestyle golds, added the 100 backstroke to his collection, winning in a time of 56.68, from Garth Tune (57.94) and Chris King (57.99).

"My body is sore," he said afterward. "It’s been a tough season already but I’m enjoying it – it’s great. I’m just going to take a three-day break and then it’s straight back in again. I want to try and race as much as possible internationally.

Corfe bagged the women’s 100 backstroke title, adding it to the 200 backstroke and 200 and 400 freestyle golds. She staved off a challenge from up and coming Pretoria swimmer Karin Prinsloo, winning in a time of 1:04.49. Prinsloo was second in 1:04.91. Van Biljon, meanwhile won the 50 breaststroke to complete her clean sweep of the breaststroke events (having also won the 200 individual medley on Saturday).

"I’m even more tired now," gasped the World Short Course silver medallist after winning the race in 32.77. "I just swam to win tonight and wasn’t too worried about the time."

Bianca Meyer provided Jessica Pengelly with a tough challenge in the 400 individual medley but it was Pengelly who emerged victorious, winning in a time of 4:52.52. Meyer was second in 4:53.32 and 800 and 1,500 freestyle national champion Wendy Trott was third in 4:55.41.

Meanwhile, the country’s veteran swimmers showed they still have what it takes to beat their rising rivals. Mandy Loots claimed victory in the 50 butterfly in 27.89 while Olympic silver medalist Terence Parkin (who missed out on the chance to bag his 10th 200m breaststroke title here because of emergency dental treatment) claimed the 400 individual medley gold in 4:28.80. Jay-Cee Thomson, 15, was second in 4;29.47 with 16-year-old Riaan Schoeman third in 4:30.01.

"That’s exactly the time we were going for," explained Parkin’s coach Wayne Ridden. "He’s not fit enough to go faster than that because he’s busy with other things at the moment but we knew that time would win it."

Meanwhile, just relieved to have her 100 freestyle title back was Lauren Roets who had a disastrous race at last year’s nationals when a botched start saw her swimming into the false start rope, cutting her mouth and then having to swim the race a few minutes later.

"At least I managed to get my title back after the disaster last year," said a relieved Roets afterward. "I wasn’t too worried about the time. All I wanted to do was win. It’s been a long two months of competition so I’m looking forward to a bit of a break. But there’s not too much time so it’ll just be about a week or two."

Another swimmer who will need a bit of a break is Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Troyden Prinsloo. He blitzed his way to victory in the 1,500 freestyle (his third gold of the meet), finishing over 50 meters in front of the rest of the field in a time of 15:12.12. Finishing in sixth place in that race was 15-year-old Chad Ho who swam a personal best time of 16:04.13, having already taken the open water 5k title at Hazelmere Dam in another personal best time of 59:00 earlier in the day.

Western Province’s Yolandi van der Merwe took the women’s 5k title in 1:02.07. In the other finals of the evening session, Fouche Venter took the 50 butterfly title in 25.34 and Louis Lotter the 50 breaststroke gold in 28.72.

Work To Do In South Africa

Apr 20, 2006

The enormity of German coach Dirk Lange's task of elevating South Africa to top five nation by Beijing 2008 was evident on day two of the South African national championships in Durban.

If some of the winning times were respectable, the gap to next best was often large, though the number of young swimmers taking top three places provides hope.

There were no outstanding performances, in international terms, top billing going to Suzaan van Biljon with a 1:09.38 victory over 100m breaststroke for her third national title in the event.

Results at a glance:

Men: 50m freestyle: 1 Gerhard Zandberg (NT) 23.07; 2 Shaun Harris (EP) 23.21. 200 backstroke: 1 George du Rand (FS) 2:00.91; 2 Chris King (WP) 2:06.34. 100m breaststroke: 1 William Diering (NT) 1:02.46; 2 Louis Lotter (NT) 1:03.50. 200m butterfly: 1 Ryan de Klerk (FS) 2:04.69; 2 Rousseau Kluever (WP) 2:05.00. Women: 50m freestyle: 1 Lauren Roets (CG) 26.20; 2 Tanya Strydom (KZN) 26.27; 200m backstroke: 1 Melissa Corfe (KZN) 2:14.68; 2 Karin Prinsloo (NT) 2:20.24. 100m breaststroke: 1 Suzaan van Biljon (NT) 1:09.38; 2 Daniella Zaverdinos (WP) 1:12.32. 200m butterfly: 1 Keri Shaw (NT) 2.14.48; 2 Mandy Loots (CG) 2.14.88