South African swimmer Townsend misses Olympic qualification

April 19th, 2012 - 5:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Durban, April 19 (IANS) South Africa’s Darian Townsend, winner of the men’s 4X100m relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics, failed to qualify for the London Olympics in the 200m freestyle division despite winning the race at the South African national swimming championships.

He finished in one minute 47.88 seconds — 0.06 seconds outside the qualifying mark for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Xinhua reported.

Townsend, who won gold at the 2004 Athens Games in the relay with Roland Schoeman, Lyndon Ferns and Ryk Neethling, has further opportunities to qualify for the Olympics this week.

“Missing the qualifying time is a little bit disappointing, but I still have the 200m individual medley, which is my main event, and the 100m freestyle to come,” the 27-year-old said.

“It would have been a tough decision to make — now that decision is kind of made for me,” Townsend said.

Meanwhile, Charl Crous boosted his chances of going to the Games by timing below the qualifying time in the semifinals and final en route to 100m backstroke success.

South African swimmers failed to win a medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

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