South African Long Course Championships: Kevin Paul, Charl Bouwer Lower Disability World Records; Gideon Louw Upsets Roland Schoeman

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa, April 16. A fitting conclusion to the Telkom SA National Senior and Youth Championships as Kevin Paul and Charl Bouwer broke two world records and Gideon Louw causing a major upset by edging out Athens Olympics gold medalist Roland Schoeman at Newton Park Swimming Pool.

Port Elizabeth's Paralympian Paul shattered his own disability world record in the 200m breaststroke heats session S10 category, shedding over a second off his previous time of 2:30.89 to the new 2:29.42.

Paul also took gold in the 200m individual medley in the evening final with a fast 2:19.61.

After breaking his own world record in the 1500m freestyle S13 category heats on Friday morning, Bouwer took another three seconds off his time to break it again in the finals this evening with a time of 16:33.79. In the same race, Heerden Herman walked away with the gold in 15:14.24 ahead of Myles Brown (15:23.76) and Mark Randall (15:25.00).

Later in the evening, all the water in the swimming pool could not quench Louw's fiery onslaught when he spectacularly sped to a gold medal in the 50m freestyle final in 22.55, with veteran campaigner Schoeman finishing second in 22.61, followed by Graeme Moore in third with a time of 23.60.

In other events, Neil Versfeld is feeling on top of the world after his 2011 FINA World Championships A qualification on the final day of the competition. He showed phenomenal speed in the 200m breaststroke finishing in 2:11.30 ahead of Rory Buck in 2:15.88 and Christopher Cowley in 2:19.27. The required qualification time was 2:13.69.

Kathryn Meaklim celebrated her qualification time for Shanghai in the 400m individual medley when she clocked 4:42.13 followed by Wendy Trott in 4:46.39 and Jessica Pengelly third in 4:49.71.

In the 200m butterfly showpiece, Bianca Mayer touched the wall with a golden 2:13.82 while the experienced Mandy Loots (2:14.39) and Vanessa Mohr (2:14.70) walked away with silver and bronze medals, respectively.

Michelle Weber (14) continued to impress in the youth competition, where she made her second and third trip to the podium after claiming gold the 200m butterfly (2:24.18), holding off a firm challenge from Kaleigh Graham (2:21.99) and Michaela Barnes (2:25.08) and again in the 400m individual medley in 5:02.52 on the final day of the championships.

Zimbabwe's James Lawson made it to the top of the medal podium with his time of 2:23.97 to win the 200m breaststroke. South African Marco Husselmann finished with the silver in 2:24.11 and compatriot Daniel Marsden got bronze in 2:25.14.

In the final session of the Telkom SA National Synchro Championships, the Western Province senior team collected a gold medal with a total of 69.750 points followed by the Eastern Province team in 69.667 points. In the combination section, KwaZulu-Natal was victorious with 74.833 points, Western Province grabbed silver with 73.667 points and Eastern Province bronze with 72.833 points.

Tomorrow (April 17) sees the start of the Telkom SA National Open Water Championships at the Marina Martinique in Jeffrey's Bay here in the Eastern Cape where big names like Natalie du Toit and Chad Ho will be striving for qualification to the FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China, in July. The 10km race begins at 09h00 on Sunday, 17th April with the 5km race taking place on Monday, 18th April at 09h00.

Final List of A Qualifications:
Wendy Trott – 800m and 1 500m freestyle
Michelle Weber – 1 500m freestyle
Chad le Clos – 200m butterfly
Gerhard Zandberg – 50m backstroke
Roland Schoeman – 50m butterfly
Cameron van der Burgh – 50m and 100m breaststroke
Vanessa Mohr – 100m butterfly
Riaan Schoeman – 400m individual medley
Heerden Herman – 800m freestyle
Mark Randall – 800m freestyle
Charl Crous – 100m backstroke
Darian Townsend – 200m individual medley
Neil Versfeld – 200m breaststroke
Kathryn Meaklim – 400m individual medley

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