By Staff Reporter
Local swimmers are hard at work preparing for the upcoming South African Level 1, 2 and 3 development galas and several swimmers have already achieved the qualifying criteria to participate at the national development swimming galas in South Africa.
The trio of Theo Visser, Daniella Lindemeier and Tristan McDonald kept their medal hopes alive when they shattered records at will during last weekend’s Age Group 3 and Sprint 2 galas under the auspices of the Namibian Swimming Union (NASU), last weekend.
Ten-year-old Theo, coached by Rentia Meyer at the Namib Swimming Academy, broke the Namibian record over the 100-m butterfly set by Jock Currie (1:31.85) during February 1994 before NASU introduced the computerized recording programme.
Theo bettered the time to 1:31.02.
Development at grassroots level has been amongst NASU’s priorities over the last couple of years and the local swimmers are certainly reaping the benefits now with some very promising youngsters coming through the ranks at the moment which augurs well for swimming in the future.
Tristan (Namib Swimming Academy) did his coach Ryan Skinner proud when he succeeded in breaking the 1500m free style record set by Derrick Langford in 1999 (18:00.46), with an impressive time of 17:55.65.
Tristan has once again established himself as Namibia’s top long distance swimmer and he was also the winner of the Namibia Mile Open Water Swimming event earlier in the season.
Marlins coach Anita Kruger (Vermeulen) was rewarded when Daniella Lindemeier stroked herself to record breaking times over the 50m and 200m breaststroke events.
She bettered the times of former record holders Dannielle van Zijl (200m breast stroke 2:52.62) to 2:49.58 and Jonay Briedenhann (50m breast stroke 36.11) to 35.27.
Kruger is a former Namibia middle-distance swimmer and still holds most of the Namibian middle-distance records.
She is bringing through a very strong component of competitive swimmers especially amongst the younger female age group.
Lindemeier is one of Namibia’s most promising age group swimmers and a lot is expected of her. She is consistently performing well and boasts a number of medal positions in different national and Zone 4 competitions.
Especially the time achieved over the 50m distance is a remarkable time for a 15-year old and earned her 684 FINA points reaching the qualifying criteria established by NASU for senior International competitions.
Jonay Briedenhann of Namib Swimming Academy had the second best performance at the gala when she earned 679 FINA points in the 50 m breaststroke event.
Swimming is going from strength to strength in Namibia with six local swimmers now having reached 650 and more FINA points.
The next Namibian swimming competition is on Friday, February 15, 2008 at the Olympia swimming pool.
On Saturday, February 16, 2008 NASU will host the Aquapentathlon swimming event at the same pool.
The Aquapentathlon event will challenge swimmers in all four strokes and the individual medley event.
These two galas are the last events for swimmers to qualify for various upcoming national, continental and international galas and great performances are expected.