PIETERMARITZBURG, South Africa, September 12. THE wait could be over, as South Africa may have found a sprint standout on the female side of the spectrum. For proof, we offer the results of the South African Short Course Championships.
During the second and third days of the competition, Lauren Roets was solid, taking titles in the 50 and 100-meter freestyle events. In the shorter distance, Roets established an African record with her victorious time of 25.08. That effort erased the 25.14 standard of Egypts Rania Elwany, set six years ago.
While South Africa has been strong in the male sprints, thanks to the presence of Roland Schoeman and Ryk Neethling, the nation has been in need of a female sprint star. Roets might have filled the void. At the very least, she has demonstrated promise, evident in the 55.59 she posted in the 100 free.
In distance-freestyle action, Melissa Corfe doubled up in the 400 and 800 distances, behind times of 4:11.18 and 8:35.29, respectively. Adding to her banner showing, Corfe also took top honors in the 100 backstroke, where she touched the wall in 1:02.68. Her distance double was duplicated on the male side by Troyden Prinsloo, who clocked 3:50.49 in the 400 and 7:59.05 in the 800.
Already the winner of the 200 freestyle, George duRand added triumphs in the 100 butterfly (53.27) and 200 backstroke (1:55.87) and Terence Parkin, a medalist at the Sydney Olympics, claimed gold in the 50 breast (28.15) and 100 breast (1:00.83). Alain Tardin also won two events, taking first place in the 50 backstroke (24.95) and 100 individual medley (54.67). duRand took second in the 50 back.
Multiple wins among the women were secured by Mandy Loots in the 50 fly (27.05) and 100 I.M. (1:02.09) and Suzaan van Biljon in the 50 breast (31.70) and 200 breast (2:27.70). Other victories were claimed by Karl Thaning in the men’s 50 free (22.12), Fouche Venter in the 50 back (24.32) and Chanelle van Wyk in the women’s 50 back (29.23).