Swimming

Swimmers set pace in Commonwealth Games

23 December 2017 - 00:00 By Staff Reporter

South Africa's sports bosses have created an anomaly with more swimmers posting qualifying standards for the 2018 Commonwealth Games than track and field athletes.
This should be an impossibility. For one, track and field traditionally offers more spots than swimming, with 46 events to 38 at the Gold Coast showpiece from April 4-15.
Also, SA won more medals in athletics than swimming at the last Olympics as well as their respective world championships this year.
There's a glitch in the Mzansi matrix and it's not for the first time either.
The last occasion was ahead of the 2012 London Games, when the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) got overly tough and demanded all competitors do qualifying standards twice. That hurt the athletes more than the swimmers.This time Sascoc want top-10 Commonwealth rankings, which should have resulted in at least 25 athletes and six swimmers.
But operating independently of each other, Swimming SA made qualification easier and Athletics SA more difficult, resulting in 29 "qualified" swimmers versus 24 athletes.
For all the raw emotions the swimmers displayed after beating qualifying marks in Durban this past week, heartbreak will follow for many. At least they know that.
"With so many people qualifying they'll have to cut the team down," said one swimmer with a qualifying time.
SA has 99 spots for most individual codes at Gold Coast.

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