PIETERMARITZBURG, South Africa, October 2. THREE swimmers, Suzaan van Biljon, Gerhard Zandberg and Melissa Corfe, dominated the last day of the Telkom SA Short Course championships in the GC Jolliffe Swimming Pool.
Van Biljon stole the show when she won two gold medals on the last day and bettered the South African record in the 200m individual medley. She bagged four gold medals at the meet.
The breaststroke specialist won the medley quite comfortably in 2:12.86 and improved on veteran Mandy Loot’s time of 2:13.06. Loots competed at the championships but only swam in the heats in the morning.
Earlier Van Biljon showed her class in the 100m breaststroke which she won in 1:06.77, coming closer to the record of Penny Heyns of 1:05.40, which she achieved in 1999.
"It is always nice to compete even though I am in a full training at this moment. I won four medals earlier this year at nationals in Durban and was hoping to repeat it here which I did," said the swimmer of Tuks.
Melissa Corfe showed she is back to her best when she bagged two medals on the last day to take her tally to five.
She first won the 200m freestyle in 2:00.64 and followed it up with the 200m backstroke in 2:10.66. Earlier she won the 400m and 800m freestyle and the 100m backstroke.
"I was happy with my times at the meet and I am getting closer to my swimming my best times again. Last year I went through a slower patch, but am happy with the times I swam while in full training. I am really going to try hard to qualify for the World Championships in Melbourne next year," said Corfe.
Gerhard Zandberg achieved his goal by winning five gold medals.
The tall swimmer from Pretoria yesterday added the 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke to his 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly.
It was a big effort for him to win on the last day. Fouche Venter was not making it easy for him in the 100m freestyle as he was chasing Zandberg all the way. Zandberg touched first in 49.20, with Venter a close second just 0.19 seconds behind him in 49.41.
Minutes later Zandberg was at it again in the 100m backstroke, one of his favourite events. This time it was Ronald Kroch who made it difficult for Zandberg who eventually was to strong in the end and won in 55.91. Kroch was second in 56.26 followed by Charl van Zyl in 57.10.
"This was hard work but well worth it. I am taking three days rest and then it is back to training for the trials in December. It is going to be tough because it is harder to qualify for the World Championships that it is to qualify for the Olympics," said Zandberg.