The country’s top swimmers are competing at the SA championships in Durban this week in a bid to qualify for the world gala in Kazan in August.
Cash-strapped Swimming SA (SSA) has imposed a tough two-tier qualifying system‚ with the faster time in each event guaranteeing a free ticket and the lesser time a partially funded trip.
It is not yet known exactly how much swimmers will have to pay‚ but estimates range from R6000 to R10000.
In 19 of the 28 men’s and women’s individual events‚ SSA’s lesser times are faster than the A-qualifying times stipulated by the world governing body‚ Fina.
That is because SSA has opted to use the qualifying times for next year’s Olympics‚ where only nine times are the same as for this year’s world championships.
“Olympic performances don’t start at the Olympic trials next year‚ they start now‚” said SSA chief executive Shaun Adriaanse. “The world championships are a dress rehearsal for the Olympic Games.”
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