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World Short Course Championship 200 metres gold medallist Suzaan van Biljon held off strong challenges from fellow breaststroke star Cameron van der Burgh and freestyle sensation Melissa Corfe to be named Swimmer of the Year at the Telkom Annual Aquatics Awards function at Vodaworld in Midrand on Saturday.
Pretoria-based Van Biljon won gold for South Africa in the 200 metres breaststroke at the Fina World Short Course Championships in Manchester, England, in April.
She also collected the bronze medal in the 100 metres breaststroke at the same event.
Van der Burgh's biggest performance was in winning bronze in the 100 metres breaststroke at the world short course event in Manchester, as well as a double haul of gold in the 50 and 100 metres breaststroke at the All-Africa Games held in Algeria last year.
At the All-Africa Games, Corfe, who hails from Durban, won the 100, 200 and 400 metres freestyle events and took home silver in the 100 and 200 metres backstroke. She was also part of the SA relay team wins in the 4x100 metres freestyle, 4x200 metres freestyle and 4x100 metres medley relay events.
Swimming SA's awards committee took into account performances set between the period of May 1 2007 to April 30 2008.
Natalie du Toit was announced as Swimming SA's Personality of the Year. This category was decided by public voting on the Internet.
Soweto Aquatics were named the Development Club of the Year, while Julie Adams received the award for the Learn to Swim Instructor of the Year, with Neville Phillips winning the Administer of the Year category.
Nondlaleni Dlamini received the Volunteer of the Year honours, with Corfe's coach Graham Hill named Coach of the Year in the Junior Athletes section.
Fellow Durban-based coach Alisdair Hatfield held off a strong challenge from the likes of national men's water polo coach Vladimir Trninic and swim coaches in Igor Omeltchenko, Dean Price and Hill to claim the Coach of the Year award. - Sapa