Herman, Trott make South Africa Olympic team
4/22/2012 9:30:01 PM -
DURBAN, South Africa (AFP) - South African freestyle swimmers Heerden Herman and Wendy Trott qualified for the Olympics Sunday during the final session of the national championships.
Herman won the 1500 metres freestyle final in 15 minutes 07.99 seconds -- almost four seconds inside the Games qualifying mark -- from Mark Randall (15:27.38) and Myles Brown (15:31.68).
"I did not feel as good as I hoped to during the race and am just happy to secure a place in the team for London. It is a massive relief to have achieved that feat," he said at the Kings Park pool.
Trott was more than three seconds inside the time required for 800m freestyle qualification as she clocked 8:30.61 to finish first followed by Jessica Pengelly (8:41.40) and Michelle Weber (8:44.10).
"I wanted to go faster but my goal in Durban this week was to make the team and I have done that. I am really happy with my performance," said the Cape swimmer.
There was final-day disappointment for the star of the one-week championships, 20-year-old Durban-born Chad le Clos, as he failed to better the 100m butterfly qualifying time.
Le Clos won the race in 52.45 -- 0.09 seconds outside the London mark -- with Dylan Bosch (53.89) second and Neil Watson (54.43) third in the Indian Ocean city.
The champion bettered the 200m and 400m individual medley and 200m butterfly qualifying marks during the week and is considered the second best Olympic medal prospect in the South African team after breaststroke star Cameron van der Burgh.
London-bound Karin Prinsloo won the women's 200m backstroke title in 2:10.76, bettering the qualifying standard for the second consecutive day, with Jessica Ashley-Cooper (2:16.53) second and Nathania van Niekerk (2:16.97) third.
"I was feeling better and more relaxed than Saturday and it was great to better the qualifying time again. It has been a long week and I am satisfied with what I have achieved," Prinsloo said.
Athens Olympics gold medalist Roland Schoeman, who secured his place in the London team Saturday, won the 50m freestyle final in 22.23 with Brad Tandy (22.35) and Gideon Louw (22.45) second and third respectively.
No South African swimmer captured a medal at the 2008 Beijing Games and London hopefuls must match or better qualifying marks twice to qualify, with one of the times having to be achieved during the national championships.