Gold Coast Commonwealth Games swimming medallists will have a reprieve at the South African Swimming Championships in Port Elizabeth from April 23 to 28.
It is the first time the national championships returns to the Friendly City since the 2013 ‘green pool saga’.
The 2013 championships grabbed headlines when the Newton Park Swimming pool turned a grassy green the day before the start of the gala.
And while star swimmers like Chad le Clos, Cameron van der Burgh and Tatjana Schoenmaker will take a break from the pool next week, the rest of the national team that made the trip to Australia will make an appearance in Port Elizabeth.
The psych sheet for the week-long gala has been released, with some of the country’s top youth and elite swimmers set to dip their toes in the PE pool.
A host of rising stars will be in action, spearheaded by Erin Gallagher, who was one of the most successful SA swimmers at the Games though she did not have a medal to show for her efforts.
Gallagher featured in the 50m, 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly finals. She also knocked 0.01 off Karin Prinsloo’s African 100m freestyle record in the Gold Coast semifinals with a time of 54.38 seconds.
The teenager will be the top-seeded swimmer in the women’s 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 100m butterfly events.
Kaylene Corbett and Emily Visagie, who will be battling it out for breaststroke supremacy, will take some confidence from their maiden appearances at the Commonwealth Games.
The duo featured in the 200m breaststroke final at the multi-sport showpiece, with compatriot Schoenmaker breaking the continental record to win the first of her two titles.
Sixteen-year-old Christin Mundell will be another of the swimmers to watch at the national championships where she will look to cause an upset in the breaststroke.
Rebecca Meder, who won five individual gold medals in the 1 500m, 800m and 200m freestyle, as well as the 400m and 200m individual medley at last year’s championships will be eyeing another dominant display.
Teenage swimmer Michael Houlie will be among the top male swimmers at the gala and will be buoyed by his Commonwealth Games debut.
Houlie finished sixth behind Van der Burgh, who claimed the golden three-peat in the men’s 50m breaststroke final, touching the wall ahead of Rio Olympic finalist Brad Tandy.
Ayrton Sweeney, Luan Grobbelaar and Martin Binedell, who all participated at the Games, will also feature at the annual SA championships.