Port Elizabeth-based teenage swim star Jessica Liss on her way to a 50 metres breaststroke heats win, at the Telkom SA National Group 3 Championships at the Joan Harrison Swimming Pool in East London on Wednesday.
Port Elizabeth’s teenage swim sensation Jessica Liss declared her biggest weakness, but not before bagging gold in the 50 metres breaststroke, 200 metres butterfly and 200 metres freestyle finals in the girls 12 years category, on the second day of the Telkom SA National Level 3 Swimming Championships at the Joan Harrison Swimming Pool here today.
"Shopping," quipped Liss, a 12-year-old Grade 7 pupil at St Georges Prep where her father Jonathan Liss is headmaster, when questioned on how she keeps herself busy when she is not competing or in the training pool.
"I love shopping, and hang out in the Walmer area of Port Elizabeth with my friends. But I put in three hours of training each day, so there is not always that much time to visit the malls."
While Liss claimed the 50 metres breaststroke (34,18 secs), the 200 metres butterfly (2 min 22,32 secs) and the 200 metres freestyle in 2:12,77, she did not hide her ambitions of posting an Olympic A qualifying time at the Telkom SA National Swimming Championships in Durban from April 1-6.
Liss currently heads the SA senior 200 metres breaststroke rankings with a season best of 2:29,77, and needs to dip under the 2:28,21 mark in order to give the national selectors much to think about before the provisional list of SA swimmers to compete at the Beijing Olympics is drawn up.
"I have completed my hard training and am busy breaking down, so I am swimming a bit quicker now as I prepare to taper, in order to post some fast times at the National Championships in Durban," remarked Liss.
But until about three months back, not even Liss thought that she would make the sort of impact on the local swimming scene that she has done. "Don’t ask me what happened," she said.
"The times just started coming down, particularly in the 200 metres breaststroke. I am really looking forward to swimming in Durban in April to see how fast I really can go."
While Liss dominated proceedings, another Eastern Province swimmer in the form of Tasmynne Roe enjoyed her moment in the swimming limelight as she clocked 33,51 to break Claire Archibald’s previous national 15 years record in the 50 metres breaststroke. Archibald’s previous SA best stood at 33,56.
The swimming action resumes at the Joan Harrison Swimming Pool tomorrow morning with a series of heats event from 08h30, with a host of finals set to take place in the evening session which starts at 17h00.
Western Province ace Jessica Pengelly kicks off for a convincing 100m backstroke win at the Telkom SA National Level 3 Swimming Championships on Wednesday.
Women’s Leading Results on Day 2 of the Telkom SA National Level 3 Swimming Championships, at the Joan Harrison Swimming Pool in East London, on Wednesday 5 March
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