Competition is hotting up in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, not only between the countries competing in the FINA World Youth Swimming Championships, but also within the South African team.
The SA swimmers have devised a battle of their own between the girls and boys, with points being earned for medals and places in finals.
So what’s at stake? If the girls win, they get treated to an all-expenses-paid-by-the-boys dinner after the competition is over and vice versa.
At the moment things are looking pretty even but that could all change with three days of competition remaining.
“The competition only came about last night,” explained one of the SA team coaches, Yusuf Joseph. “We’ve got a points system running for medals and for finals.
"I think it’s five for gold, three for silver, two for bronze, one for a final and then there are bonus points for championship records,” he added.
“It was just a suggestion at first but was then finalised last night by Wesley (Gilchrist).”
It was a good day for both the boys and girls on Thursday.
Despite putting in a mammoth effort to win a silver medal in the morning final of the 800m freestyle, Wendy Trott still had the energy to come back and swim 4:17,35 in the 400m freestyle heat in the evening to qualify second fastest for Friday’s final.
Others who progressed through their heats were Claire Archibald (sixth overall in the 200m individual medley in 2:19,27), Karin Prinsloo (eighth in the 200m backstroke in 2:18,85), Riaan Schoeman (eighth in the 200m individual medley in 2:06,85) and Jean-Marie Neethling (12th in the 100m breaststroke in 1:13,19).
“It’s the third day of competition and that’s normally the toughest day, not for any particular reason but it’s the middle of the competition,” explained Joseph after the evening’s heats.
“But I think we had some good swims tonight and made quite a few finals tomorrow so you can’t ask for anything more, as long as the kids are getting to race again in the finals.
“Wendy also gave a very good performance in the 400m freestyle, going through second. If she performs to the best of her ability, a medal could be possible tomorrow but we won’t count our chickens yet. We’ll wait and see,” added Joseph.