Christopher Reid notches up Fina qualification time
Bay Olympian to compete at first World Championships if he gains SA selection
US-based swimmer Christopher Reid has again put his name in the hat for national selection after he swam a qualifying time in the 200m backstroke at the South African National Aquatic Championships in Durban last week.
Reid, who has been living in America to study and further his swimming career, said getting the qualifying time was very relieving as he continues his road back to international competition.
At the Aquatics nationals, Reid was in supreme form in his specialty 200m backstroke event, as he claimed gold in that race with a time of 1:57.11, which put him in a strong position when it comes to team selection for the Fine World Aquatic Championships in Gwangju, South Korea in July.
Reid has been on the comeback trail since 2018, where he competed at the US Winter National Championships, winning two gold medals in the 100 and 200m backstroke events.
“Getting the qualifying time in the 200m backstroke is very relieving because I had to change programs last year April.
“I am training with ex-South African Jonty Skinner. I have been training full time with him since finishing my collegiate of obligations in America and have been working extremely hard on getting back into international racing shape.
“Seeing the big time drop in my 200m backstroke, which use to be my main race, it seems to be coming back onto my big race repertoire again. It’s a really good step in the right direction in relation to the type of training I am doing. So, I’m glad to get my international return off to a good start with this nationals,” Reid said.
Reid also participated in the 50 and 100m backstroke races narrowly missing out on the qualifying times for those races. He also swam a qualifying time for the 100 freestyle relay.
“The signs are there. However, I did make a few technical flaws in some of my races. I was not happy with my 100m backstroke. Although I’m 11th in the world for the 200, I want to get back to the top 10 in the world for the 100.
“I need to try and figure out what is going on in the shorter events. But in terms of just overall performances, I think this is a pretty good start and I can only go forward from here,” the former Grey High pupil said.
Asked what this qualifying time meant in terms of his selection, he said: “I got the A qualifying standard time which means I can go to the world championships. But Swimming South Africa now has to submit a draft list of the team which could attend,” he said.
Reid said he was excited to be back competing on home soil while simultaneously spending quality time with his friends and family.
“It’s great to be back in South Africa and more so in the Eastern Cape. It’s been a while since I have been able to represent the green and gold and if that opportunity is granted, I would certainly grab it with both hands,” the Crimson Tide Aquatics swimmer said.
If he is selected, Reid will be attending his first Fina World Championships, saying it was always a dream to compete on that stage.
“Just like my Olympic dream, competing at the [Fina World Championships] is another dream of mine. I remember watching the event on television when I would get back from college, studying each race and not being able to witness all the behind the scenes action. So, hopefully this time I will have the opportunity to witness it live.
“My goal is not just to make the team, my goal is to be competitive if and when I get into the pool.
“The biggest thing about these championships is that it almost acts as a trial run ahead of the Olympic Games because here is where you see the best swimmers from all over the world and you can gauge who the strong swimmers are,” Reid concluded.
Meanwhile, another former PE swimmer Kaylene Corbett, who now swims out of Tuks, also swam a qualifying time in the 200m backstroke, clocking 2:25.62, to finish second behind double Commonwealth Games gold medallist Tatjana Schoenmaker.