JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 11. TWENTY swimmers will represent South Africa at the Commonwealth Games next month, the country’s sports organizing body announced today.
Most of the names on the list are not surprises, given that they swam faster than the qualifying times set down at April’s nationals. Cameron van der Burgh and Chad Le Clos each won two Commonwealth gold medals in 2010 and will be looking for more in Glasgow at the end of July. Also on the list is Roland Schoeman, who will be attending his fourth Commonwealth Games and looking for a third win in the 50 freestyle.
On the women’s side, Karin Prinsloo will lead the way, having qualified in several events at nationals in times that set national records. Prinsloo will be looking to improve on the one medal won by South African women in able-bodied swimming in 2010, as will the seven other women taking the trip to Glasgow.
South Africa appears to be doubling down on its 400 freestyle relay, especially on the men’s side. Le Clos won the 100 free and will likely pull relay duty there. Leith Shankland and Caydon Muller were third and fourth, respectively, in the 100 free to earn a spot on the roster as well. Notably, second-place finisher Brett Walsh is not on the list, though Clayton Jimmie (seventh in 100 free) and Calvyn Justus (eighth in 100 free) are going to Scotland. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s release of the roster did not list the events the athletes will swim, so it is not clear if relay veteran Roland Schoeman will slide in for much-needed assistance there, though he did not swim the 100 free at nationals.
Darren Murray was unable to beat the qualification standards in the backstroke events, but with South Africa needing a backstroker to fill its medley relay, Murray was able to get a seat on the plane to Scotland.
A few women on the roster — Rene Warnes, Marlies Ross and Tara-lynn Nicholas — were also unable to beat qualifying times in their events, but will have another racing opportunity next month.
Chad Le Clos
Cameron van der Burgh