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Le Clos and Van der Burgh will lead SA acquatic team in China

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The team, which will be led by Olympic champion Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh, consist of seven men and four women

Chad Le Clos will be on the front line of Swim South Africas charge to rake in the medals at the upcoming 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in China. Picture: EPA/Darren England

Zikie Molusi, Swim SA vice-president, during his recent visit to Kimberley, spoke about the FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation) 25-metre World Championships due to take place in mainland China from December 11-16.

Molusi said that SSA have selected an 11-member team for the upcoming 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m).

The team, which will be led by Olympic champion Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh, consist of seven men and four women.

Le Clos and van der Burgh will themselves be making their fifth appearances at the championships with Van der Burgh looking to add more silverware to his already considerable haul of six medals. Le Clos boasts an impressive 11 medals, nine of which are gold.

Commonwealth Games double gold medallist; Tatjana Schoenmaker will be making her debut at the competition. The 21 year-old Schoenmaker has already shown her form by breaking the retired Penny Heyns’ national 50-metre breaststroke record during last month’s SA National Swimming Championships (25m) in Durban.

Commenting on the selected team’s strengths SSA Chief Executive Shaun Adriaanse said it was the strongest possible team yet that will fly the national flag at the global championships.

“The team boasts an exciting mix of seasoned campaigners like Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh and rising stars such as Tatjana Schoenmaker. We are confident the team will improve on the previous edition where we finished fourth on the medal table.”

The team also includes the young and talented Rebecca Meder and Zane Waddell who will be making their debuts at the senior level.

South Africa finished fourth on the medal table at the 2016 World Championships in Canada where Le Clos won the 50, 100 and 200m butterfly gold medals and the 200m freestyle silver with Van der Burgh claiming the 50m breaststroke title.

Molusi, meanwhile, said that SSA works closely with schools, tertiary Institutions and Government departments to constantly review and monitor the transformation process to ensure that the federation becomes more reflective of the demographics of the country.

“The National Sports and Recreation Plan provides a substantive framework for our activities over the next decade and we have ensured that our plans are aligned to this national strategy. A major challenge going forward will be the ability to secure the necessary funding to deliver on our various projects.”

South African Team:

Men: Ryan Coetzee, Douglas Erasmus, Chad le Clos, Ayrton Sweeney, Brad Tandy, Cameron van der Burgh, Zane Waddell.

Women: Erin Gallagher, Rebecca Meder, Tatjana Schoenmaker, Emily Visagie.