DURBAN - Three more Continental records fell on the third evening of the "Telkom" S.A. National Aquatics Championships being held at the Kings Park Aqautic Centre, in what was, by far, the most exciting session of the event.
With the humidity just bearable, a crowd which compared favourably to the two previous evenings witnessed some exciting swimming.
In the first event of the evening, the womans 100m Freestyle, Christine Cech (KZN) had an excellent start and was, 35 ahead of her nearest rival going into the turn. She hung on to win in a Pan Pacs qualifing time of 57.79 from Stacey Bowley (KZN), 57.87 and Charlene Whittstock (KZN), 58.05.
The mens event proved to be a real "snorter". Nicholas Folker (KZN) completely dominated the first 50m and turned with convincing lead (.51sec) from the chasing pack. In an exciting final 20m, which saw the crowd on its feet, it was Ryk Neethling (FS), 50.13 who out touched Folker , 50.20 ahead of Brendan Dedekind (KZN), 50.86 and a fast finishing Herman Louw (CGA), 51.47. Both Neethling and Folker bettered the Continental mark of 50.30 established by Roland Schoeman at the Comenwealth Games in 1998.
Penny Heyns(KZN) followed up a good swim in the morning heats,(2:25.98) in the womans 200m Breastroke, with an encouraging victory(2:25.84) over teenage star Sarah Poewe(WP), 2.28.64. Central Gauteng Aquatics stalwart, Tanya Naude filled third spot with 2.37.73.
The mens 200m Breastroke saw Terrance Parkin (KZN), 2:16.04 dominate the race in a world class performance just missing the Continental mark by ,74 sec.Greg Owen(CGA) swam a credible 2:18.93 and third place went to Daniel Kiepfer (WP), 2:21.23.
Mandy Loots (CGA), 2:18.74, captured her third individual title of the Championships when she won the 200m Backstoke convincingly from Taryn Cokayne(CGA),2.21.20 and Romy Altmann (WP), 2:23.02.
Simon Thirsk(WP), 2:04.64, came within .28sec of Greg Albertyns' current Continental mark when he won the 200m Backstroke for men from George Du Randt (FS), 2.06.70 and Byron Jeffers (KZN),2.07.33.
The womans 100m Butterfly saw both Renate Du Plessis(WP), 1:01.43 and Mandy Loots (CGA), 1:01.52 better Du Plessis' previous Continental mark of 1:01.78 in an exciting race. Loots lead by .32sec into the turn but Du Plessis came back stronger to out touch the Gauteg "flyer". Candice Crafford (KZN),1:03.16 edged out Candice Nethercott (CGA), 1:03.17 and a fast finishing Kirsten van Heerden (KZN), 1:03.25 for third spot. All five swam within the Pan Pacs qualifing time.
A overjoyed Du Plessis said shortly after the event, "The 100m Fly is my main event. I swam my own race....it was hard for me...., they say, "no pain, no gain" : tonight I felt pain ! I only became aware of Mandy with 25m to go and worked realy hard into the wall."
Theo Vester (KZN) 54.26 took ,12 sec off his Continental mark after Ryan Kelly (CGA), 54.85 had held a slight advantage at the turn. Justin Fourie (KZN), 56.91 finished a distant third.
In the womans' 400m Freestyle it was again the Kwa Zulu Natal ladies who dominated. Kim van Selm, 4:20.34 held off a determined Kirsten van Heerden, 4:21.48 and Donna Lesslie, 4:23.84 to capture her second individual title of the Championships.
The 400m Freestyle for men saw Ryk Neethling (FS), 3:53.97 win comfortably from James Wilcox (WP), 4:03.69 and Ryno Maarkgraaf (FS), 4:04.08 to capture his third individual title of the Championships.
The evening was concluded with the 400m Medley relays.
Kwa Zulu Natal (4:16.82) won the ladies event convincingly from Western Province (4:19.70) and Central Gauteng Aquatics ( 4:24.21).
The mens event saw both Kwa Zulu Natal (3:48.22) and Central Gauteng Aquatics (3:49.39) better the Domestic record (3:50.89) established by the South African team at the 1995 African Games in Harare. Western Province (3:54.51) were placed third.