SA women must toughen up in pool – Neeth­ling

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

OLYMPIC gold medal­list Ryk Neeth­ling be­lieves South African women swim­mers need to toughen up if they want to chal­lenge for medals at in­ter­na­tional galas.

“If you com­pare our women phys­i­cally to women over­seas, they (the over­seas swim­mers) aren’t big­ger but they are much stronger,” Neeth­ling said at the launch of the “Get the Girls to Gold” pro­gramme in Jo­han­nes­burg dur­ing the week.

“We are years be­hind the rest of the world and it is about get­ting into the gym­na­sium and putting in the hard work and it is about hav­ing the right at­ti­tude and conditioning.”

Dou­ble Olympic gold medal­list Penny Heyns has for long been the shin­ing ex­am­ple for both men and women’s swim­mers.

South Africa’s great­est women’s medal haul came at the 1996 At­lanta Olympics when Heyns landed gold in the 100m and 200m breast­stroke, while Mar­i­anne Kriel claimed bronze in the 100m back­stroke.

South Africa has never pro­duced a women’s medal­list at the world long-course cham­pi­onships, set to start in Barcelona on July 28.

How­ever, South African men’s swim­ming seems to be go­ing through a pur­ple patch fol­low­ing last year’s Lon­don Olympic Games.

Neeth­ling said he ex­pected a greater medal haul at the world cham­pi­onships.

He pre­dicted: “We should win four medals in the 50m back­stroke, breast­stroke, and but­ter­fly,” he said. “In the 50m breast­stroke we should win two medals through Guilio Zorzi and Cameron.

“In the ’fly Roland (Schoe­man) and in the back­stroke Ger­hard Zand­berg (should) get a medal.” – Sapa

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.