A team of 20 South African swimmers will be in action at the IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands from August 15-21.
The squad will be accompanied by manager Daphne Bird, coach Theo Verster and 10 other administrative personnel.
Among the top swimmers in the line-up are paralympics ace Natalie du Toit, recently in action at the World Open Water Championships in Canada, rising star Kevin Paul and shark-bite victim Achmat Hassiem.
A total of 659 athletes from 55 different countries will be competing at the championships, one of the largest of any previous championships.
The meeting is vital for South Africa’s swimmers as these are the first stages of the long qualification process for the next Olympic Games in London, 2012.
“It’s a strong team with definite medal chances,” said Bird.
“Our top hopes will rest with Natalie (Du Toit), Kevin (Paul) and Charl (Bouwer) as well as Shireen (Sapiro).
“It’s also the first time in many years that we have swimmers in the S14 category (intellectually challenged). In this regard Craig Groenewald is expected to do well.
“Other S14 swimmers are Challis Wright and Yvonne Smith. It’s Smith’s first major international competition.”
Other debutantes for this competition will be Hendri Herbst and Marike Naude.
The SA team: Sarah Shannon, Adri Visser, Beth Nothling, Chad Gifford, Hendrik van der Merwe, Sibusiso Mogale, Christiaan Du Plessis, Natalie Du Toit, Emily Gray, Achmat Hassiem, Kevin Paul, Shireen Sapiro, Charl Bouwer, Renette Bloem, Sean Clarke, Craig Groenewald, Hendri Herbst, Marike Naude, Challis Wright, Yvonne Smith.