Lize-Mari Retief got off to a flying start in the all-new Samsung Grand Prix swimming series, held at the Delville pool in Germiston on Saturday when, with the Olympic swimming trials barely six weeks away, the Tuks swimmer showed endurance to win three of six events entered, and placing second in the other three.
The 21-year old swimmer was the fastest swimmer in almost all of the 50 metres events, winning the 50 freestyle (26.48), 50 backstroke (30.26) and the 50 butterfly (27.26). "This was great today as I was pushing myself to the limit," said Retief, "And must say I was happy with the times I swam today, as I am really training hard for the trials."
Mandy Loots, veteran swimmer of Gauteng, sent a strong message when she won the 100 butterfly in 59.72 seconds, placing ahead of Retief in second place timing 1:00.64, followed by Keri Shaw in 1:01.78.
Retief, Loots and Shaw are in a race to qualify for only two places in this event for the Olympic Games in Beijing.
Loots was very pleased with her time, as it came in a whisker of the 59.35 qualifying time, after leading all the way in the 200 individual medley, only to lose to Kathryn Meaklim in the final 25 metres.
Meaklim has already swam the qualifying time for the Olympic Games, and just pipped Loots with her time of 2:17.72. Loots finished a close second coming in at 2:17.84.
Suzaan van Biljon had no equal in the breaststroke events where she easily won the 50 metres in 33.56, and the 100 metres in 1:11.95.