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Sun Apr 20 15:36:33 SAST 2014

No Turkey for Cam at Christmas

SBU MJIKELISO in Maritzburg | 20 August, 2012 07:160 Comments
Cameron van der Burgh chats to Darian Townsend during day 2 of the South African short course championships at the GC Jolliffe Pool on August 17, 2012 in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Image by: Anesh Debiky / Gallo Images

CAMERON van der Burgh is likely to give the world short-course swimming championships a miss.

The Olympic gold medallist missed the national championships, which ended here yesterday, because of flu. He said he needed a break from sport following the London Games.

"I've been going to every international meet since 2007, so I might need a little bit of a break just to try and get refreshed and refocused," he said.

Nevertheless, South Africa have 18 swimmers who have qualified for the world championships, to be held in Istanbul in December. Included in the group are Chad le Clos, the gold and silver medallist from London, and fellow Olympian Karin Prinsloo. Both qualified for Turkey before withdrawing with illness.

Yesterday Van der Burgh beat training partner Giulio Zorzi as well as Roland Schoeman and Neil Versfeld in the 50m breaststroke final. He posted 26.58sec but so close was the race that all the top four finishers posted qualifying times.

Some of the country's most promising young swimmers, including backstrokers Jessica Pengelly, 21, and Jessica Ashley-Cooper, 20, as well as 17-year-old Marne Erasmus also qualified for Turkey.

Pengelly, who went to Beijing four years ago and now trains in Perth, Australia, pipped London Olympian Kathryn Meaklim in the 200m individual medley, winning in 2min 13.89sec.

Ashley-Cooper won the 200m backstroke decider, clocking 2:10.68, with Pengelly second.

The 200m butterfly was won by Jan Petrus van der Merwe, 19, in 2:01.09.

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