DURBAN, South Africa, April 18. FIRST, Roland Schoeman opted not to compete, due to his inability to recover fully from a recent illness. Now, Ryk Neethling has decided to contest only the 50-meter freestyle at the South African Championships, which started Tuesday morning. After his one-race foray, Neethling will embark on a period of recuperation, slated for two months.
A triple-event winner at the World Short Course Championships, Neethling was solid in Shanghai, China, as opposed to his struggling ways at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne a few weeks earlier. At the World Short Course Champs, Neethling won the 100 and 200 freestyles and took top honors in the 100 individual medley.
"I'm just going to take part in one event,” Neethling said. “I have to be honest and say the national meeting is definitely not on the same level as the world meeting, but I will still give my best because it's always nice to swim in front of your home crowd.”
Once he returns from his break period, Neethling will begin preparation for the 2007 World Championships, which will be held at the same venue in Melbourne that hosted the Commonwealth Games.