Tuks a swimming power house with depth
By Manfred Seidler
Posted on 28 April 2009
23 of the 43 swimmers that made up the NTS squad at the SA B-Nationals at Hillcrest swimming pool in Pretoria, from 3 - 5 April, came from TuksSwimming.
They also garnered 20 of the 26 medals that were brought home by the province. Clearly a sign of a club that knows what it is doing. It does help to have all the expertise on hand that Tuks Swimming does, i.e top coaches in Igor Omeltchenko (Head Coach) and Steven Ball (Manager & Coach) and superb facilities such as at the High Performance Centre, the University of Pretoria’s world class sporting grounds and everything that comes with it. The sports science, nutrition, physiotherapy, doctors. All of that will certainly make a difference.
The performances at the SA B-Nationals mean that Tuks Swimming has incredible depth at that those who competed at the A-Level Senior National Championships will not be able to rest on their laurels, lest they find their positions in the team challenged.
Nineteen year-old Nelia Enslin had a superb meet and qualified in fact for the Senior Nationals in Durban, but qualifying at this meet was too late to enter for Senior Nationals. She competed in the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke at the B-Nationals, where Nelia won the 50m and 100m breastststroke and bagged a silver in the 200m.
Stefan Venter was undoubtedly the star for Tuks Swimming, winning 6 Gold Medals. Venter was completely dominant in the 50/100m backstroke, the 50/100m freestyle and the 50/100m butterfly. In 4 of these events he qualified for Senior Nationals.
Tuks Swimming have recently changed their focus from improving and winning as a club to looking improving all individual performances with the idea that the clubs performance will then naturally improve. And so it was with Quinton Delie. Quinton is a Namibian national who joined the Tuks Swimming academy in January of this year. After not being able to swim the 1st day due to health reasons, he bettered his 100m freestyle time in the finals to 54.80sec (from 56 sec) and dropped his 200m IM time by 2.6 seconds to 2:17.01 to win the Gold Medal.
After joining the Tuks Swimming Academy in January this year, John Van Duyn has shown remarkable improvement in the breaststroke events. He moved from Rocco Meiring squad in January this year, along with 8 other swimmers as part of the long term athlete development plans within the club structures. A silver medal in the 50m final as well as a 5sec improvement in 200m breaststroke and 1.6sec in the 100m breaststroke are certainly indicative of a program, that merged with talent and hard work, is paying dividends. John missed the Bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke by 0.3/sec and reached the finals of the 200m breaststroke.
Eric Van Der Sande dropped his times in the 50/100/200m breaststroke and 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle whilst Kristen Nicholson swam a lifetime best in the 50m freestyle final and qualified for Senior Nationals in the 50 and 100m butterfly events where she also won silver and bronze respectively.
Around a 80-90% PB rate was achieved by the swimmers from Tuks which re-emphasis their focus change. Other swimmers with notable performances and medals included Michelle Pistorius, Stephan Kuhn and Jacques Brits.
All in all Tuks Swimming certainly is paving the way for the future of Swimming in the province and by extension, Swimming in the country. The swimmers here will look to future improvements in the new season and hopefully will contribute and add to the 27 swimmers that represented the club at senior nationals.