JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 9. SOWETO's Thabang Moeketsane and 15-year-old Capetonian Jessica Pengelly, are a part of Swimming SA's 18-member preliminary Olympic squad that will participate at the Japan International Grand Prix.
Moeketsane, 19, will compete in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events as well as in the 400 medley relay, with the international competition set to showcase his talent as he strives to represent South Africa at Olympic level.
Pengelly will be under starter's orders for the 200 individual medley, 400 individual medley, 200 breaststroke and 200 butterfly events and along with 17-year-old swimmers in Riaan Schoeman and Wendy Trott, is part of the youth element of the preliminary Olympic swimming squad.
Other swimmers that could benefit greatly from the trip to Japan include World Championship 50 meter backstroke gold medalist Gerhard Zandberg (50m and 100m freestyle and 100m backstroke) and World Championship 50 meter breaststroke bronze medalist Cameron van der Burgh (100m and 200m breaststroke and 100m butterfly) who recently triumphed over former world record-holder Kosuke Kitajima in Monte Carlo.
"With top swimmers from Australia and the USA set to be a part of the action at the International Swim Meeting in Tokyo, our young swimmers have the perfect platform to put their swimming skills to the test at the highest level and to get an understanding of the swimming set up in Asia, ahead of next year's Olympic Games," said Swimming SA's GM: Athletes Development Rushdee Warley.
"The trip to Japan is the next step up following the success of the swimmers at the All-Africa Games held in Algeria last month. The fact that the athletes will be able to train and acclimatize in Osaka for 10 prior to the swim meeting in Tokyo will be of great advantage to our swimmers."
Special thanks to Swimming South Africa for contributing this report.
George Du Rand
Cameron Van Der Burgh