Dirk Lange Leaving Swimming South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, September 22. DIRK Lange, the head coach of Swimming South Africa, will not renew his contract with the national federation after four years with the organization.

"I am extremely grateful to Swimming South Africa for the confidence shown in me over the past four years and wish the national federation, its swimmers, coaches and officials all the best for the future," said Lange.

Lange added that he will cooperate fully with the investigation team led by Advocate Norman Arendse.

Swimming South Africa President Jace Naidoo thanked Lange for his contribution to the sport and said that his knowledge and commitment will be sorely missed.

"Swimming South Africa respects Lange's decision to move on and we wish him all the best for the future," said Naidoo.

During Lange's spell as head coach, South Africa collected two gold medals and a silver medal as well as two bronze medals at the FINA World Championships held in Montreal in 2005.

With Lange in charge, South Africa collected five gold, two silver and five bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne, Australia two years ago.

Also in 2006, South Africa collected three gold medals and a silver at the FINA World Short Course Championships held in Shanghai.

At the FINA World Championships held in Melbourne last year, South Africa won two gold medals and a bronze.

At the All-Africa Games held in Algeria last year, South Africa went on a major medal hunt, returning with 25 gold, 17 silver and 11 bronze.

In April this year, Lange was at the helm of a highly successful medal haul by the South Africa team at the FINA World Short Course Championships held in Manchester, England, with one gold, one silver, and three bronze medals.

At the Olympic Games held in Beijing, South Africa swimmers set 22 new African records and 24 South Africa records, with a total of 24 South Africa swimmers having taken part in the Olympic showpiece event, compared to the seven swimmers that competed for South Africa at the 2004 Olympics held in Athens.

Further, seven female participants represented South Africa in swimming events in Beijing, which was a major success story after no South Africa female swimmers had been able to qualify for the Olympics four years earlier.

In addition, South Africa qualified to compete in four relay events in Beijing, after only the men's 400 meter freestyle team was able to meet the qualifying standard for the 2004 Olympics.

Special thanks to Swimming South Africa for contributing this report.

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Author: Archive Team

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