PHOENIX, Arizona, April 28. ROLAND Schoeman, who posted a time fast enough at the South African Olympic Trials to swim the 50 free at the Olympics, swam faster today at the Phoenix Swim Club intrasquad meet in his attempt to conform to South African's stringent Olympic qualifying policies.
Schoeman, swimming alone, posted a 22.06 in the race today. That was faster than the automatic Olympic qualifying time of 22.11 and faster than the 22.08 he swam in the semifinals at the Olympic Trials.
In normal circumstances, Schoeman would have made the South African Olympic team with his 22.08, but the country's swimming federation is requiring its potential Olympians to swim faster than the Olympic qualifying time twice: once at the Trials, and once at a FINA sanctioned meet. Schoeman had until May 15 to swim under the Olympic qualifying standard, and used the intrasquad meet, which was sanctioned by USA Swimming, for that purpose.
At 31 years old, Schoeman is looking to participate in his fourth Olympic Games. He swam the 50 and 100 freestyles at the 2000 Olympics, failing to make the final. His most successful Games came in 2004, when he helped South Africa set a world record and win the gold medal in the 400 freestyle relay. He won silver in the 100 free and bronze in the 50 free. He made the final of the 50 free in 2008, placing seventh.
Despite posting qualifying times at the Olympic Trials, a few other South Africans still need to post a second Olympic qualifying time in their events in order to swim in London. The full list of members of the South African Olympic team is expected to be posted after the May 15 deadline to achieve that second swim.