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Cameron misses out

April 17, 2013

Cameron-van-der-Burg 1

For the first time in his career, Cameron van der Burgh with leave the South African national Aquatic Championships without a national title- all because of a dirty pool that forced organisers to postpone yesterday’s program in Port Elizabeth.

The Olympic champion, who has won crowns since his first senior gala in 2006, flies to Norway today for a gala in memory of his friend, Alexander Dale Oen, who died last year.

As a result, Van der Burgh won’t be here for the 100m breaststroke final, which had to be rescheduled from last night to tonight.

Day two was postponed yesterday after poor visibility persisted.

“We took a decision to postpone until tomorrow morning,” Swimming South Africa chief executive Shaun Adriaanse said.

“We want to give staff enough time to get the water quality up. There is a possibility of injury and it is affecting the times.

“The municipality is bringing extra equipment and manpower. They’ve given us the commitment it will be much better by tomorrow.”

Today’s programme has been reworked to include yesterday’s events.

The gala – which also serves as trials for the World Championships in Barcelona in July as well as the disabled World Championships in Montreal in August – started on Monday and is scheduled to end on Saturday.

On Monday poor visibility hampered swimmers like double Paralympic gold medallist Charl Bouwer, who is visually impaired.

“I only have 20% vision,” he said. “I mean normally the detail and stuff is bad for me.

“Last night I did the 100m freestyle and coming to the wall it’s the shallow end, so you’re supposed to see the T, but I wasn’t able to see it, so immediately that has a big effect on your time.”

Young hopeful Myles Brown missed out on a World Championship qualifying time in the 400m freestyle by 0.25 seconds, after veering into the lane ropes twice and misjudging his last turn on the wall.

The problem started on Sunday when a pipe burst, allowing dust to infiltrate the system. To get rid of the dust, employees poured aluminium sulphate into the water to pull the dust to the bottom, and then vacuum it up.

It seemed to be working, but the dust was churned up after swimmers were allowed back for their warm-up swims before the scheduled heats yesterday morning.

Some fingers were pointed at Swimming South Africa, and others at the municipality.

Some observers believe faster action should have been taken on Sunday, such as switching off the pump before too much dust had been spewed into the pool.

There was also a feeling that Swimming South Africa should have delayed the gala by 24 hours on Monday.



From → African News

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