Big Jack Wiid would never have won the Empire Games 110 yards backstroke in record time to-day, but for failing in his school exams three years ago.
Wiid was chosen to represent Northern transvaal in the South African swimming championships in 1946, but his father refused to let him him accept because he failed in his examinations.
Wiid said:"I was upset at that, and made up my mind to pass the next year. I did, and went on to the championships. I won the backstroke title."
Wiid is now the South African backstroke and freestyle sprint champion. He is only 20, and instructs police in swimming in Pretoria.
Wiid's time of 1:07,7 was 0,2 seconds fater than the old record. It was his fastest and hardest swim.