Suzaan wins Swimmer of the Year Award
By Manfred Seidler
Posted on 07 October 2008
UP and hpc swimmer Suzaan v Biljon walked away with the most coveted prize in South African Swimming on Saturday 4 October.
The 20-year-old Swimmer got the nod ahead of Cameron Van Burgh and Durban based Melissa Corfe. In an interview on Radio 2000 and SAFM on Sunday 5 October, Suzaan expressed her joy at winning the title. “Its really fantastic to win, especially as for the last few years the award has gone to a male, so for me to win this award was truly amazing.”
It was not easy, as she faced stiff competition from Van Den Burgh and Corfe. “I think the Gold and Bronze Medal I won at the World Short Course Championships and then almost breaking the World Record in the 200m Breaststroke gave me the nod over the other two. They are superb swimmers, so to win above them is for me truly a big coup.”
Suzaan trains under the watchful eye of coach Igor Imolchenko, who was in the running for coach of year, at the HPC.
The awards take into account the performances from May 2007 to April 2008, which means that the Olympic Games did not feature as part of the Awards qualifications. During the period she not only won the Gold in the 200m Breaststroke final at the FINA World Short Course Championships, narrowly missing out on a World Record, but also won Bronze in 100m Breaststroke and 3 Golds at the All Africa Games in Algeria in July 2007 (50m, 100m and 200m Breaststroke). Suzaan was also unbeatable at the SA Short Course Championships winning the 50m, the 100m and the 200m Breaststroke finals.
The Award comes as no surprise. Since 2005 she has been a force to be reckoned with on the World Scene. Two Second place finishes at the Fina World Cup in Durban in 2005 (50m and 100m breaststroke) and a Gold in her favourite event, the 200m.
In 2006 she won Bronze at the Commonwealth Games in the 200m Breaststroke Final. And then in 2007 the 3 titles at the All Africa Games and the South African Short Course Championships culminating in the Bronze in the 100m and Gold in the 200m at the World Short Course Championships in Manchester this year.
Speaking about her future in the pool, Suzaan will be competing in the World Cup in Durban. “Swimming is pretty much an all year round sport so we very little time to recovery. So I will be taking it easy at the World Cups. Most of the top swimmers will not be there after the Olympics, so this will give me a chance to make a bit of money out of the World Cup in Durban.”