Brendon Dedekind (KZN) ousted Roland Schoeman (Northern Tigers) in the race of three of the world's fastest sprinters to retain his national 50m freestyle title at the Telkom S A National Aquatic Championships at the Kings Park Aquatic Complex in Durban on Saturday.
Dedekind, ranked second behind Schoeman, after an electrifying start, led from start to finish to win comfortably in 22.13 seconds.
Schoeman, still seeking a South African National title even though he briefly held the world short course 50m record last month, took silver in 22.46.
Dedekinds' provincial teammate Nicholas Folker won bronze with an Olympic qualifying time of 22.63.
"I'm really happy to win here," Dedekind said afterwards. "I really enjoy competition and I'm grateful to Roland and Nick. I know we will push each other hard and if we push hard enough one of us will break a world record."
The closest a South African has come to the magical 21.81 mark is the 22.04 by Schoeman, followed by Dedekind's 22.06.
"Roland and I going to Sydney to take on the world," the recently qualified electrical engineer added.
Dedekind, Schoeman, Folker and fourth-placed Dylan de Bruin (KZN) (23.25) will join forces on Sunday to make an assault on the 4x50m freestyle relay world record.
In 50m breaststroke time trials, Penny Heyns (KZN), Brett Petersen (WP) and Chris Stewart (CGA) will also attempt world 50m marks.
Earlier on Saturday, Kim van Selm (KZN) broke the Africa record as she stroked her way to victory in the women's 800m freestyle in 8:51.57 - although that time was still outside Jeanine Steenkamp's SA mark of 8:48.41 set in 1985 while South Africa was in isolation. Midmar Mile winner and former National squad member Marika Theunissen (KZN) (25) who is currently preparing for the national open water trails took the silver in 9:05.25 closely followed by Cape Town by 16 year old Natalie duToit (WP) in 9:06.85 and Sheona Lottering (KZN) 9:06.94 in what was an exciting climax to a closely contested event.
"I'm really happy with that, it was what I was going for," the 21-year-old said. "I tried to break the race up to make it seem shorter, and it seemed to work."
American Denali Knapp (Northern Tigers) won the women's 200m backstroke, but second-placed Charlene Wittstock (KZN) (2:17.32) took the SA title, beating Mandy Loots (CGA) (2:19.37) into third place.
All Africa Games gold medallist, Ryan Kelly (CGA) (54.49) won the men's 100m butterfly in the absence of defending champion and African record-holder Theo Verster who withdrew from the semi finals in an attempt to gain the Olympic qualifying mark in the Individual Medley the previous night. Derek Craven (Northern Tigers)took silver in 55.94 with Derek Craven (Northern Tigers) (55.94) coming in ahead of a fest finishing Luke Wilkens (Free State) (56.29) and Graham MacFarlane (KZN) (56.44).
In the ladies 50m Freestyle semi final eliminators it's Helene Muller (Vaal Triangle) (26.16) who heads a determined group which includes KZN teammates Stacey Bowley (26.39), Charlene Wittstock(26.39) and American visitor Denali Knapp (Northern Tigers) (26.47). The final on Sunday morning should be a fast race and Atlanta Olympics backstroke bronze medallists