South African Championships: William Diering, Lize-Mari Retief Break African Records

DURBAN, South Africa, April 3. SEVEN more swimmers made the South African roster in various events for the 2008 Beijing Games at the South African Championships held in Durban. William Diering, Jean Basson, Darian Townsend, Lyndon Ferns, Suzaan van Biljon, Lize-Mari Retief and Wendy Trott each punched their ticket to the Big Show. Overall, two African records fell on the day.

Diering captured the men's 200 breast title with an Olympic A cut time of 2:11.88 en route to breaking Terence Parkin's African record of 2:12.50 in the event.

Basson, who already made the team in the men's 400 free, snatched the 200 free title with a time of 1:47.79. Townsend finished second just behind with a time of 1:48.68 as the pair both eclipsed the Olympic A cut to make Beijing in the event.

"I knew Basson would go around 1:47 and I would have to keep a close check on him if I was to have a chance in the closing stages but he swam superbly tonight," Townsend told Swimming South Africa.

Ferns then had a strong swim in the 100 fly semifinal round when he clocked a 52.70 to clear the Olympic A cut in the event.

In other action, Retief posted a time of 58.70 in the women's 100 fly to destroy the African record of 59.29 set by Mandy Loots in 2005. Loots, meanwhile, placed second in semis with a 59.59.

Trott, who already earned a spot in Beijing in the 400 free, clocked a swift time of 8:34.11 in the 800 free – just off her African record of 8:31.53 set at 2007 Worlds. Kathryn Meaklim placed second in 8:44.95, while Paralympian Natalie du Toit took third in 8:55.77.

van Biljon then punched a time of 2:26.88 in the women's 200 breaststroke to clear the Olympic A cut and earn a spot in Beijing, while 12-year-old breakout star Jessica Liss took second in the semifinal round with a time of 2:29.36.

Finally, a team of Morne Boshoff, Chris King, Herman Heerden and Sebastien Rousseau won the 800 free relay in 7:33.30, short of the African record set in 2006 with a 7:28.01.

Jean Basson (Left) qualified for the Olympics tonight with a 1:47.79 win in the 200 freestyle, congratulates Darian Townsend (Right) who will also be joining him in Beijing with a qualifying time of 1:48.68 in the same event.