Le Clos, who turned 24 on Tuesday, won with a quick 1min 55.04sec, followed by fellow qualifier (in the 400m IM) Sebastien Rousseau in 1:57.38 and Dylan Bosch in 1:58.18.
There was also plenty of action in the 200m breaststroke as Cameron van der Burgh clocked yet another Olympic Qualification time when he swam a personal best time of 2:11.10, while Jarred Crous and Ayrton Sweeney ended second and third in 2:12.47 and 2:13.38 respectively. The final of this event will take place on Thursday.
The semi-finals of the 100m freestyle saw Douglas Erasmus top the group in 49.85, followed by Caydon Muller in 49.90. Erasmus and Muller will be striving for a faster time in tomorrow’s final to clock the 48.99 requirement for the Rio Olympic Games. None of the SA swimmers has managed an Olympic qualifier in this event yet.
In the 200m butterfly semi-finals, it was Rene Warnes who touched the wall first in 2:13.85, while Marlie Jacob and Taryn Els finished a close second and third in 2:22.13 and 2:23.18, respectively. The final of the event will also be held on Thursday.
London Olympian Karin Prinsloo won the 200m freestyle final in 1:59.86, over four seconds ahead of Kristin Bellingan in 2:04.13 but still a second outside the Olympic qualifying time. Caitlin Kat was third in 2:04.40, while the 200m individual medley gold went to Marlies Ross in 2:17.47 ahead of Gabi Grobler in 2:19.05 and Kirsty McLauchlan in 2:20.38.
The country is still waiting for the first women’s qualifying swim at these championships.
In the multi-disability section, Alani Ferreira (S13) walked away with her fourth Paralympic Qualification time and third African Record, this time in the 100m butterfly, clocking 1:23.37. Ferreira once again broke Marike Naude’s 2011 time of 1:25.91.
Cape Town’s Achmat Hassiem (S10) swam to a Paralympic Qualification time of 1:00.44 in the 100m butterfly heats session but the man who goes by the nickname of Shark Boy just missed out on confirming that time when he finished the finals of the event with a golden 1:00.59 to the required 1:00.47.
Silver medal went to Jared Burger in 1:09.20 and the bronze to Jean Pretorius in 1:12.80.
Aaron Putz claimed the gold in the S14 and S15 100m butterfly in 1:11.38 ahead of Sean O’Neil in 1:41.01, while on the women’s side, Cornell Loubser (S15) won her respective race in 1:07.40 with Christelle Kriel coming in second in 1:17.16.
Friday’s heats will start at 10am while the finals will begin at 6.30pm daily.
The staging of this event has been made possible through the support provided by Swimming SA partners, Sport and Recreation South Africa, SASCOC, National Lotteries Commission, Arena, Rand Water and the SABC.
Six swimmers have now posted Olympic qualifying times and eight Paralympic qualifying times.
Olympic Qualifying Times following day four:
Sebastien Rousseau – 400m individual medley – 4min 14.75sec
Michael Meyer – 400m individual medley – 4:15.71
Myles Brown – 400m freestyle – 3:48.86
Cameron van der Burgh – 100m breaststroke – 59.66
Cameron van der Burgh – 200m breaststroke (SF) – 2:11.10
Christopher Reid – 100m backstroke – 54.02
Chad le Clos – 200m freestyle – 1:47.75
Chad le Clos – 200m butterfly – 1:55.04
Paralympic Qualifying Times:
Kevin Paul (SM10) – 200m individual medley – 2:15.78
Kevin Paul (SB9) – 100m breaststroke – 1:05.10
Johann van Heerden (SB9) – 100m breaststroke – 1:12.64
Alani Ferreira (SM13) – 200m individual medley – 2:50.43
Alani Ferreira (S13) – 400m freestyle – 5:21.00 (heats)
Alani Ferreira (SB13) – 100m breaststroke – 1:26.90
Alani Ferreira (S13) – 100m butterfly – 1:23.37
Emily Gray (S9) – 400m freestyle – 5:05.36 (heats)
Emily Gray (S10) – 100m backstroke – 1:17.17
Craig Groenewald (SB14) – 100m breaststroke – 1:12.33
Hendri Herbst (S11) – 100m backstroke – 1:16.84
Shireen Sapiro (S10) – 100m backstroke – 1:11.87
Achmat Hassiem (S10) – 100m butterfly – 1:00.44 (heats)
Picture of Van der Burgh celebrating another qualifying time courtesy of Anesh Debiky/Swim SA
– See more at: http://www.sascoc.co.za/2016/04/14/le-clos-and-van-der-burgh-lead-the-way-to-rio-at-sa-championships/#sthash.2QOPakqK.dpuf