Tuks rake in the Medals at Africa Swim Champs

Posted on December 09, 2008

“We are pretty happy with how ‘our’ swimmers did at the Championships”, said Steven Ball, Program Manager, Tuks Aquatics at the University of Pretoria and High Performance Centre (hpc).   “To have 10 swimmers from different countries perform so well shows that what we do here at the University of Pretoria and hpc is clearly working. Take Tim Ferris for example. He competed in 8 different events and improved by a total of about 20 seconds. That’s incredible and shows that sticking to the routine, controlling the controllable's and being consistent in what we do clearly works.”

Tim had a remarkable Championships. He dropped 6 seconds in the 200m Individual Medley, 2.6 seconds in the 100m Butterfly, 1.3 seconds in the 100m Freestyle, 0.5sec in the 50m Butterfly, 1 second in the 100m Breaststroke, 6.5 in the 200m Breaststroke, 0.4 seconds in the 50m Breaststroke and 0.7 seconds in the 50m Freestyle. “With Tim we worked on the time he spends underwater. By staying underwater longer, you go faster. We worked on his breathing before coming into the tumble and turns; in fact we established no breathing zones. All of these had an impact on his performances”, according to Ball.

The Tuks Swim team, and therefore the Academy and the High Performance Centre, had 3 swimmers from South Africa (William Diering, Pierre Worth, Darren Murray), 4 from Zimbabwe (Tim Ferris, Kirsten Lapham, Maxine Heard, Moira Fraser), 1 from Mozambique, Kenya and Angola respectively (Monica Bernardo, Pina Ercolano – commonly referred to as Pina Colada – Paulo Rebello).

The Medals came from:

South Africa:
William Diering Gold 200m Breaststroke,Silver 100m Breaststroke; 
Darren Murray Gold 4x100m Medley Relay,Silver 50m, 100m, 200m Backstroke; 
Pierre Worth Silver 100m Freestyle Relay

Tim Ferris Silver 50m Freestyle;
Maxine Heard Bronze 200m Breaststroke;
Moira Fraser Bronze 200m Freestyle and
Kirsten Lapham Bronze 100m Backstroke

The only two who did not medal were Monica Bernardo and Paulo Rebello. That said, though it was not only Tim Ferris who improved on his swimming, but a number of the other swimmers also lowered the personal bests. Darren Murray went 3 seconds faster in the 200m Backstroke, Maxine Heard improved her 200m Breaststroke time by 2 seconds, Kirsten Lapham took 1.2 seconds off her best in the 200m Freestyle and whilst she may not have medaled, Monica Bernardo dip drop 3 seconds on her 100m Butterfly time.

Clearly something is being done right at the High Performance Centre.

Postscript:  He may not swim for Tuks, but  Oussama Mellouli did his final preparations for the African Championships at the High Performance Centre and won 11 Medals, 9 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze.


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