Cameron cruises to victory

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“I read cool article last night (Sunday) I have the top 51 times for Africa, and I’ve gone under the one-minute mark 31 times,” Van der Burgh said.

“It is nice to get those stats and see that kind of consistency and I am really happy about that. Let’s hope the next breaststrokers that come out have a lot of hard work to do to beat my records.”

Van der Burgh opened the championships with a qualifying time during the heats stopping the clock at 59.98 before winning his final in a time of 59.69.

Jarred Crous, who was knocking on the door to qualify for the Games, could not get close to the fast time of 1:08.88 he set in Sunday’s semi-final. The 19-year-old finished behind Van der Burgh in a time of 1:01.10 with Craig Emslie bagging the bronze clocking 1:02.33.

“I’m more happy with where I am in my training, we are not fully tapered but we are well rested and you can see it in my 80 to 90 percent pace which is close to full speed,” Van der Burgh said.

“The speed is not there at the moment but it will come with the next block of training, and going into a lot of the racing in Europe which will help me get a lot faster.

Swimmers are never happy, you always want to go faster but you can’t be unhappy with a ticket to Rio.”

Earlier, double Olympic medallist Chad le Clos posted a qualifying time in the 200m freestyle clocking 1:49.85 in his semi-final.

In a close tussle between the two training partners, Myles Brown narrowly missed the Olympic mark touching the wall behind Le Clos by a fraction with a time of 1:48.05.

“I won’t get carried away, it was just a semi-final, it was a bit slow actually but nationals is a funny thing and you want to get that monkey off your back,” Le Clos said.

“If feel like I should be faster, so hopefully tomorrow night Myles will also get the time, I’m sure he will.”

Chris Reid produced one of the highlights of the day during the morning heats when he smashed Gerhard Zandberg’s national 100m backstroke record with a time of 53.12 seconds to earn his ticket to Rio.

The United States-based swimmer lowered his previous best by more than a second and moved to fifth place on the world rankings, dipping well below the previous record of 53.75 seconds Zandberg set at the Beijing Games in 2008.

During the morning heats 16-year-old Mariella Venter posted a new personal best time of 1:01.81 in the women’s 100m backstroke to edge her closer to the Olympic qualifying time of 1:00.25.

In yesterday’s semi-final she shaved nearly a second off that time posting a time of 1:00.97 with only a fraction lying between her and Olympic qualifying.

Six swimmers have already booked their places to the global showpiece on the first day of the SA Swimming Championships.

Original source: Cameron cruises to victory

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