Connect with Us:  

South Africa Champs - Day 4

Sep 6, 1999  - Neville Smith

Johannesburg - Swim sprint star Brendon Dedekind (Pitermaritzburg Seals) smashed his sixth Africa record of the "Telkom" SA Short Course Championships in Johannesburg on Sunday morning, this time claiming the 50m butterfly mark.

Dedekind sped through his heat in 24.02 seconds, thrashing more than half-a-second off Andrew Bradley's (Kings Park) year-old 24.62 mark. This was the Pan Pacifics 50m freestyle gold medallist's sixth record in 11 swims at the four-day gala - and the third stroke in which he has established himself as the fastest man on the continent.

The 23-year-old, also the 100m individual medley Africa record-holder, earlier in the week twice broke the 50m breaststroke and 50m freestyle marks, as well as the 100m freestyle record.

"Butterfly and breaststroke are just fun for me," he said. "But short course 50s are my thing. I do lot of work on my start and turns."

The electrical engineering student believes he is capable of going even faster in the semifinals and final in the afternoon. "My turn wasn't that good and usually afternoons are quicker because your body is warmer. I'd like to go 23."

If Dedekind can dip below 24 seconds, he will have an outside chance of challenging Mark Foster's 23.34 Commonwealth record or even Michael Klims' 23.21 world mark set earlier today in Canberra.

But he won't get a chance to do anything further in the 100m freestyle final after deciding to scratch and compete in only the 'fly. "I won't do the 100m free so I can have a bit of a rest before the All-Africa Games (next week). It's important for our swimmers to do well there."

Double Olympic champion Penny Heyns (Toti) will have a shot at the women's 100m breaststroke world record in the final.

In Saturday's semifinal, she raced to within 0.2 seconds of Samantha Riley's mark of 1min 05.90secs. But Heyns, who owns the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke world long course records, is not as comfortable in the 25m-length pool.

Charlene Wittstock (Seagulls) will be aiming for her sixth gold medal in in the 200m backstroke final. And deaf Durbanite Terence Parkin (Seagulls) will be looking for two golds in his favourite 200m breaststroke, where he won bronze at Pan Pacifics, and the 200m individual medley.