PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa, April 17. A pipe burst has interrupted the South African National Championships yesterday. The incident occurred at the Newton Park Swimming Pool in Port Elizabeth, where swimmers are vying for spots on the World Championships roster.
Not only did the pipe burst cancel the second day of competition, but it has now claimed a third with meet organizers deciding to run the rest of the meet in timed finals format. This situation comes on the heels of some complaints regarding water quality, with the pool being green prior to the meet.
So far, the meet is slated to continue through this weekend on Saturday. Officials are not on record just yet regarding whether the meet will be extended past then.
On day one, a trio of Olympic gold medalists all posted Worlds qualifying times in semifinal action with Roland Schoeman, Chad Le Clos (50 fly) and Cameron van der Burgh (100 breast) all beating the qualifying standard. The threesome was looking forward to locking down their roster spots by replicating those times in finals.
SwimNews' Craig Lord reported a big issue with this change regarding Cameron van der Burgh. Van der Burgh will no longer be able to post a finals time in the 100-meter breaststroke, as he will be taking part in the Alexander Dale Oen memorial at the Bergen Swim Festival this weekend.
Swimming South Africa alleviated some concerns with the following statement to Swimming World.
“He will be considered for [Worlds] selection” said Shaun Adriaanse, Swimming SA CEO.