Charlene Wittstock

Charlene Wittstock was born on 25th January 1978 in the Rhodesian city of Bulawayo. She is the daughter of Michael Wittstock, a sales manager, and his wife Lynette, a retired swimming instructor and former competitive diver.

At age 12 her family emigrated to South Africa, where she grew up in the Eastern Transvaal town of Benoni, where she attended Tom Newby Primary from 1988 to 1991.

In 1997 Charlene won the 100 and 200 backstroke events at the South African Championships in Germiston, silver in the 50 and 100 freestyle - and the award as Best Female Swimmer of the Tournament. She swam for South Africa at the 2000 Olympics, and at the 2002 FINA Short Course World Championships, where she placed sixth in the 200 m backstroke, and at the 1998 and 2002 Commonwealth Games. A shoulder injury shortened her career and although she tried to return for the 2008 Olympics, she did not qualify.

She moved to Durban to pursue her swimming career full-time under coach Graham Hill at the Seagulls Swimming Club. In 2000 she won the gold medal for the 200m backstroke event at the "Marenostrum" international swimming meeting in Monaco. This is when she met Prince Albert for the first time; he was presiding over the international competition.

She later left Seagulls and joined the Tuks Swimming Club at the University of Pretoria. She did not enroll in any academic courses and consequently never graduated from the University. The swimming club sponsored her by providing free access to pools, coaching, accommodations and gymnasium access.

Charlene left Pretoria in January 2005 and returned to Durban and joined a former Tuks Swimming coach, Brannislav Ivkovic. In 2007 Charlene Wittstock regained her title as South Africa’s 50m women’s backstroke champion in 30:16 seconds at the SA National Aquatic Championship.

Charlene  was part of the South African Women’s 4x100m medley swimming team which came 5th in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She also swims 200m breaststroke as well as 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke.

During her professional career, Charlene set South African records for:

50m backstroke in 29:18 and 28:00 respectively in the long and short courses in 2002

100m backstroke in 1:00:16 minutes, short course at the 2001-2002 World Cup

200m backstroke in 2:08:72, short course in 2002

In 2000 Wittstock met Prince Albert II, and they later began a romantic relationship.

In June 2010 Wittstock and Prince Albert II became engaged, and were married in Monaco on 1-2 July 2011 (civil and religious ceremony). At that time Wittstock became Her Serene Highness, The Princess of Monaco.

Today Charlene has a continued interest in swimming - even competing in the Midmar Mile. On her marriage, Charlene became Princess consort of Monaco and gained the title and style of Her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco; the last to hold the title was the Prince's mother, Grace Kelly. Charlene was married to the Prince in a civil ceremony on 1st July 2011 in the Throne Room at the Palace of Monaco. The religious ceremony took place on 2nd July 2011 in the Cour d'Honneur of the Palace of Monaco. She bears the title "HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco"along with all the historical titles vested to the Prince, in the feminine.

On February 12, 2011, the soon-to-be Princess of Monaco, Charlene Wittstock, swam the 38th aQuelle Midmar Mile (below).

From poppie to princess

26 June, 2011


The Cinderella from Benoni had the natural drive and the discipline to win her prince - and ensure the slipper fits.

Charlene Wittstock has seldom put a foot wrong in her 10-year fairy tale from barefoot Olympic swimmer to enchanted princess in high-heeled slippers. Except when it came to wearing high heels. That took practice for the golden girl from Benoni.

But, like Cinderella minus any wicked relatives, the slipper now fits and she's found her prince charming. At 33, she is poised to follow in the footsteps of the late Hollywood star, Grace Kelly, when she marries Kelly's son, Prince Albert II of Monaco, at the Prince's Palace of Monaco next weekend.

Mining magnate Bridgette Radebe, who is close to her, says: "Charlene can bring her uniqueness and energy to follow on the legend of Princess Grace."

Wittstock's elegance, like another glamorous blonde from Benoni, Hollywood star Charlize Theron, already glitters from red carpets and the covers of glossy magazines such as Vogue.

Despite her metamorphosis, Wittstock - born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and raised in Benoni and Durban - remains passionate about her family, friends, Africa and her charities. Radebe says: "Charlene has never stopped being who she is. With Charlene, what you see is what you get." And what you get includes friendliness, fun, compassion and commitment.

During Radebe's visit last month, Wittstock's day was packed with official duties, so the friends only caught up in the early hours of the morning.

"By the time we finished, it was something to four and we had not eaten. We asked the chef to prepare a spicy, vegetarian pasta. Charlene is vegetarian and we asked for lots of garlic and chilli. She said: 'I'm a Durban girl.' We started chatting about South Africa, her passion - which is mentoring and the development of children in swimming - fashion and social responsibility.

"She always wants to know: 'Am I doing enough?' She wants to go the extra mile in her new role."

Wittstock will soon represent Monaco on the global stage. Yet she will still be an ambassador for South Africa. She sent Radebe, who is married to Justice Minister Jeff Radebe, an sms last week saying: "Oh, South African flags all over the country before the wedding. It's awesome."

Wittstock's patriotism is part of her family heritage. Her father, Mike, is a loyal, no-nonsense South African.

When Prince Albert II called her father last year to ask for her hand in marriage, she advised him to phone before South Africa played France in the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

"The next day I asked: 'When did you call?' and he said it was five minutes before kickoff. I asked what my father had said, and he replied: 'He said he had to get off the phone because the national anthem was coming on.' I said that I hope he got the message," Wittstock said in a recent TV interview.

A tall and imposing figure, her father says Wittstock grew up a fearless tomboy who often got into scrapes.

"Once she jumped off a tree onto a horse and broke her arm in three places. She was not scared of anything," her father says.

In her competition days, Wittstock joked that she got into swimming because the pool was the safest place for her. Ultimately, swimming dominated her youth. Her first crush was on a local freestyle champion, Peter Williams, whose picture she used to kiss good morning, she said in an interview in 1992.

Wittstock was a South African backstroke champion and represented the country at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 - and through a swimming meeting in Monaco that year, she met Prince Albert II.

Her former teammate, Penny Heyns, remembers Wittstock as a friendly, entertaining person "who knew somebody, without exception, wherever we were in the world".

"She has a lot more depth of character and is more perceptive than you see on the surface," says Heyns. "I can't think of any time I saw her grouchy, and she was an unselfish, considerate roommate."

An injury forced Wittstock out of competitive swimming in 2007, but she still trains with her coach, who has accompanied her to Monte Carlo.

He's not the only member of her close circle of family, friends and pets to move to the principality. Her mother Lynette, a gentle and supportive woman, and her brother, Gareth live in Monte Carlo. Her other brother, Sean and her father, escorting her remaining dogs, flew over for the wedding.

"She has her own puppy and between her and her mom they have about six dogs," says Radebe, describing her as very pro-animal. Wittstock is traumatised by the slaughter of rhino and she and Prince Albert II are promoting environmental awareness from Monaco.

Radebe says Wittstock is in her element at the family lodge in the mountains, near Marseilles, where she has time and space to herself to hike and unwind with her friends and family.

Wittstock's African heritage has permeated the royal palace and wedding programme.

She invited South African Idols winner Jason Hartman to perform at their wedding celebration, as well as local boy band the Romanz.

"I thought I would give input on the music," she said in the TV interview. "My wedding is just a little bit bigger than most but, ja, my nerves are alright for now."

When Radebe joined Wittstock's family for a dinner at the palace in honour of her conversion to Catholicism, she noticed that French music was no longer the sole genre. "We were sitting in these beautiful Japanese gardens after her christening ceremony, having dinner, and in the background was South African music: Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Johnny Clegg, Miriam Makeba, and then comes the South African national anthem."

Wittstock's appreciation of contemporary African art shows in her beautiful apartment, says Radebe. "Lynette is an artist and Charlene is very creative, like her."

Wittstock enjoys local favourites such as Mrs Ball's chutney and rooibos tea, and asks for Zambuk, her father says.

Radebe says: "She is the most inexpensive person to please."

Terrence Bray from Durban is one of Wittstock's favourite designers, but for her wedding she'll be wearing a dress by Giorgio Armani. Radebe says Wittstock has an innate sense of style and understood what suited her sculpted body even before she met Armani. "She is not cluttered and knows how to carry herself."

Wittstock has such grace when she accompanies Prince Albert II on formal occasions that she looks as if she were born into royalty. But at her first major appearance with him, despite being briefed on the protocol, she found the attention overwhelming. Radebe says: "She phoned me the next day and said there were hundreds of people clapping when they walked in - and sounded quite upset."

Wittstock, like any celebrity on a world stage, has also had moments when her high-flying lifestyle trips her up. She once shared the royal box with the celebrated tenor Placido Domingo at the Grand Prix and did not realise who he was.

"She asked him: 'What do you do?' and when he told her he was a singer, she said she would love to meet the Three Tenors, unaware that he was one of them," says Radebe. "She does not mind not knowing everything and learning along the way."

Hartman describes Wittstock as a "very genuine person who is pretty down to earth and kind and caring".

The Monegasque people love her spirit of ubuntu and her fresh, natural energy. "Africa is a symbol of nature and sunshine and Charlene oozes naturalness and attracts a lot of people," says Radebe.

Her vitality could be channelled into her children, potential heirs to the throne. "You are on a journey with this person (after marriage) and you would like to have little people along the way, and potential Sharky supporters," Wittstock said in the TV interview.

"I would say I'm looking forward to it," she said, joking that she hoped her husband would support the Sharks, since he had become a staunch rugby fan.

"He is a sports fanatic himself. He has done triathlons, been to five Olympic games for bobsleigh and swims and runs."

Radebe feels the couple are lucky to have found each other. "They are so gelled together and so similar, with their interests intertwined."

The prince introduced Wittstock to Radebe and the two women connected from the moment they met.

"She is very open," says Radebe. If she arrives for a visit, Wittstock will exclaim "Bridg" and fling open her arms for an embrace.

Prince Albert's family have been very welcoming to Wittstock, making her feel part of the family, Radebe says.

She realises she will share her husband with the country and is ready for the role of first lady, adds Radebe, who thinks the royal union will benefit South Africa by enhancing the social, economic and political union of both countries.

Wittstock said in the TV interview: "I will have many duties here to fulfil and will have to dedicate my time to the Monegasque people. But I will not be forgetting South Africa."

Charities are a priority for her and Wittstock is excited at being chosen as the Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics. "I would put everything aside (for charity) and focus on that when I have time," she said.

After the wedding, Wittstock and Prince Albert II will take their first international trip together, to Durban. Perhaps she'll even get to go surfing, which is one of her favourite sports.

"Initially we'll go to the International Olympic Committee meeting and then relax with family and friends," she says.

"I will always come back to South Africa, at least once a year."

Your Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco, take a bow.

Family Affairs

The prince and princesses of Monaco - the children of the late Princess Grace (née Kelly) and Prince Rainier III - flouted royal protocol with unconventional relationships and scandalous antics.

The Grimaldi children became famous for their wild ways, romancing with Hollywood stars, flight attendants, racing drivers, bodyguards and elephant trainers.

But Prince Albert II, Princess Caroline of Hanover, and the youngest, Princess Stephanie, have long since abandoned their hedonistic days, and the prince's wedding to Charlene Wittstock next weekend symbolises a new era for the dynasty.

Wittstock, who has lived in the Mediterranean principality since 2006, will be its first crown princess since Kelly's death in 1982. In the past, the bachelor prince has been romantically linked to supermodels Claudia Schiffer and Angie Everhart, and actress Brooke Shields.

After Prince Albert II ascended the throne in 2005, he acknowledged fathering a son, Alexandre, and a daughter, Jazmin Grace, out of wedlock with different women. A former Air France stewardess from Togo is the mother of his son, aged seven, and a former waitress from California is the mother of his teenage daughter.

Prince Albert II and Wittstock are keen to have children, who would be legitimate heirs to the Grimaldi throne. Children born out of wedlock are not eligible for succession.

The father of the youngest child of the tattooed Princess Stephanie remains a mystery. Her two older children were born during her marriage to her bodyguard.

Stephanie, who was 17 when she survived the car crash that killed her mother in 1982, divorced the bodyguard. Her second marriage also ended in divorce.

Her older sister, Princess Caroline, endured tragedy when her second husband, the father of their three children, died in an accident in a speedboat race. She is now married to German Prince Ernst August of Hanover, but they are living apart after Princess Caroline and their daughter moved back to Monaco.

Despite the turbulence, family friends say their children have been well raised and that the next generation of Grimaldis will be a fine reflection on the family legacy. 

Charlene on the right - at Tom Newby Primary school in Benoni

Women of Influence Supporting Special Olympics Globally

February 16, 2011

Charlene Wittstock is also a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics, seen here with SA Olympiuc coach Wayne Ridden, handing over a cheque to SOSA valued at €60,000 and also held a benefit breakfast in Pietermaritzburg with proceeds for SOSA.

This was the first time that Charlene had competed in the Midmar Mile (the biggest timed open water swimming event in the world) and so she decided that rather than swimming it competitively that she would swim alongside SOSA athletes. Joining Charlene was Olympic Gold medallist Roland Schoeman, Olympic silver medallist Terence Parkin and ‘the human polar bear’, Lewis Pugh. Individuals of all disabilities, those competing in the iron man and the biathlon events competed in the first race of the day at 8h30 for a straight 1 mile swim in the Midmar Dam, Pietermaritzburg, SA.

First out of the water was Special Olympics South Africa athlete leader Craig Groenewald and he was closely followed by athletes without disabilities. Charlene Wittstock presented the awards for the ‘Disability category’ with SOSA athletes taking gold, silver and bronze for both males and females in the ‘Intellectually Impaired’ category. Craig Groenewald’s winning time was 21:06 whilst the ladies winner and SOSA representative to the 2011 SOWSG open water swim event, Cornelia Fowler completed the event in 27:49.

Charlene is looking forward to making this an annual event on her calendar whilst SOSA in turn plans to grow the field of 43 athletes that completed this year’s event.

Charlene Wittstock's swimming achievements

Charlene Wittstock swimming achievements 

1999 All-Africa Games
Gold for 100m Freestyle and 100m Backstroke,_Princess_of_Monaco
100m Freestyle Charlene Wittstock - South Africa 57.46
100m Backstroke Charlene Wittstock - South Africa 1:04.31
Silver for 4x100m Free Relayw2 (Charlene Wittstock, Stacey Bowley, Candice Crafford, Kim van Selm 3:54.31)

All Africa Games
September 12, 1999 - Day 1
Wittstock Causes Upset As SA Strikes Gold At Ellis Park: Charlene Wittstock, the South African with the "cover girl" looks upset Egyptian star Rania Elwani to win the women's 100m freestyle and give South Africa a golden full-house on the first day in the swimming pool at the All Africa Games in Johannesburg on Saturday. 
September 16, 1999 - Day 2
In the relay, Loots, Charlene Wittstock (Seagulls), double Olympic champion Penny Heyns (Toti) and Stacey Bowley (Seagulls) won in a Games record 4:11,57. Zimbabwe was second in 4:28.96 and Egypt third in 4:48.17. 

Tyr Westville Sprint Gala
December 12, 1999
Charlene Wittstock (Seagulls-KZN)(2:26.81)won the ladies item comfortably from All Africa Games team-mate, Bronwyn Dedekind (2:30.04)and Elzette Jordaan (Seals-KZN)(2:32.44). In the ladies event, which also produced 5 NQT, Charlene Wittstock (58.52) dominated a race which was always going to be for the minor placings.

Telkom SA National Aquatic Champioships
April 6, 2000 - Day 1
Charlene Wittstock(KZN) (1:02.93)also set herself up for a successful defence of her 100m backstroke title on Tuesday evening with the best time of the semifinals. She finished ahead of American visitor Denali Knapp(Northern Tigers) (1:03.02) and Zimbabwean Olympic hope Kirsty Coventry (1:04.30). 
April 6, 2000 - Day 2
Charlene Wittstock had left her best effort behind in the semifinal, where she achieved the Olympic qualifying standard with a 1:02.93.
On Tuesday night she was always having to chase visiting American Denali Knapp, who touched first in 1:02.79 to Wittstock's 1:03.52.

April 8, 2000
Muller, after clocking two continental records each in the 200m and 100m freestyle, managed an incredible fifth one in the shorter race, where she streaked to victory in 55.82. Despite her electrifying start, the pack was snapping at he heels and it was national surf life saving captain, Stacey Bowley (KZN) (56.77) who got ahead to take the silver from provincial team mate Charlene Wittstock (57.25) and Zimbabwean Kirsty Coventry (57.35). "I've just looked to improve the whole week. I want to go out and compete with the rest of the world." Mandy Loots (CGA) (2:19.90) looks set for an exciting tussle with American visitor Denali Knapp (Northern Tigers) (2:20.34) and Charlene Wittstock (KZN) (2:23.10) for the ladies 200m Backstroke title on Saturday evening.

April 10, 2000
American Denali Knapp (Northern Tigers) won the women's 200m backstroke, but second-placed Charlene Wittstock (KZN) (2:17.32) took the SA title, beating Mandy Loots (CGA) (2:19.37) into third place. 

April 13, 2000
Women's 50m Freestyle ---> With Charlene Wittstock opting not to swim in the freestyle events and Chrissy Cech having not returned from the USA for this meet a number of new young faces appeared in their first senior national final.
Women's 200m Backstroke ---> Charlene Wittstock (KZN) claimed victory in an exciting tussle with her promising club mate Melissa Corfe.
Wittstock had built up a significant lead at the halfway mark and the result was never in doubt, however Corfe had an awesome last 100m (1:09.54/1:10.54) and closed the gap significantly to claim the silver in a respectable 2:17.11. Wittstock's winning time was 2:15.80 while Romy Altmann (WP) fell off the pace a tad to claim the bronze in 2:19.16. 

South Africa Announces Olympic squad
April 11, 2000
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - The South African swimming squad for the 2000 Olympics was announced, subject to approval by the National Olympic Committee of South Africa, after the national championships on Sunday. Women: Penny Heyns, Mandy Loots, Helene Muller, Sarah Poewe, Charlene Wittstock. 

Relay record falls to Seagulls 
October 7, 2000
Wittstock teamed up with Candice Crafford, Lauren Howell and Melissa Corfe for a time of eight minutes, 29.86 seconds in winning the women's 4x200m freestyle relay event, improving a four-year-old record.
Women 800m freestyle relay: 1 Mr Price Seagulls (Candice Crafford, Lauren Howell, Melissa Corfe, Charlene Wittstock) 8:29.86, 2 Seals KZN 8:33.09, 3 Vineyard WP 8:34.00.

June 15, 2001
South African Charlene Wittstock came into the final seeded third after posting a 1:04.24 in what was seen as a welcome return to form, while Brazilian stalwart Fabiola Molina (1:04.59) had a point to prove.

Goodwill Games
August 29, 2001
EVENT 4 - 100m Backstroke Women - Match 2
Unranked Charlene Wittstock WLD, 1:02.66, caused an upset win ahead of Clementine Stoney AUS by the narrow margin of 0.09. Dyana calub AUS was third, 1:03.16 and Erin Gammel 4th in 1:04.29. AUS 22 WLD 1
EVENT 14 - 50m Backstroke Women - Match 2
Charlene Wittstock EUR made it a double in backstroke for the EUR team. Giaan Rooney AUS team captain and Dyana Calub took out 2nd and 3rd for AUS with Renate Du Plessis 4th.
AUS 80 WLD 44 

Africa record for Whittstock
September 30, 2001
Durban - KwaZulu/Natal swimmer Charlene Wittstock showed early season form at the Mr Price Seagulls shortcourse championships at the Kings Park Pool in Durban Sunday when she swept to a South African and All Africa record of 2 mins 10,96 seconds in the women's 200 metres backstroke event. 
In doing so she automatically qualified to gain a place in the national squad to compete in the World Shortcourse championships in Moscow next year. Her triumph Sunday was made even more sweeter in the fact that she beat the German visitor Antje Buschshutte, who was the world shortcourse champion in Athens in 2000 and the current European champion. 

October 21, 2001
Heat 1 Prelims 4 Charlene Wittstock WORLD 28.37

November 18, 2001
The 24-year-old then backed up to win the 200m backstroke in a time of 2:08.42, just edging out South African Olympian Charlene Wittstock (South African record 2:09.12) with fellow American Diana MacManus third (2:10.28). 

Women's 50 meter backstroke 
1. Diana MacManus, USA 28.34 
2. Charlene Wittstock, RSA 28.47 
3. Sophie Edington, AUS 28.66 

Women's 200 meter backstroke 
1. Lindsay Benko, USA 2:08.42 
2. Charlene Wittstock, RSA 2:09.12 
3. Diana Macmanus, USA 2:10.28 

FINA World Cup
November 17, 2001
Women's 200 back 2:09.12 by Charlene Wittstock (RSA) who was second in the final but bettered her own previous record of 2:11.74 from 2000.

November 19, 2001
Women's 100 meter backstroke 
1. Diana Macmanus, USA 1:00.76 
2. Charlene Wittstock, RSA 1:00.83 
3. Frances Adcock, AUS 1:00.99 

December 6, 2001
Australian, Clementine Stoney and South African, Charlene Wittstock contested the final with Stoney too strong in dominating the last 50 metres to take victory along with AUS$5000 reasons to be elated with her performance. Stoney's opening 50m was actually a personal best time of 30.26 and she backed up with 30.59, 30.87 and sealed the victory and the cash in 30.42. 

December 7, 2001 - Day one
Australian Clementine Stoney put in another solid performance in the 200m backstroke final winning in the time of 2:06.80. Charlene Wittstock from South Africa was second in 2:09.80 with American Lindsay Benko third in 2:10.63. 
Women's 200 meter backstroke 
1. Clementine Stoney (AUS) 2:06.80 
2. Charlene Wittstock (RSA) 2:09.80 
3. Lindsay Benko (USA) 2:10.63 

December 8, 2001 - Day 2
Women's 100 meter backstroke 
1. Charlene Wittstock (RSA) 1:00.16 
2. Janine Pietsch (GER) 1:00.25 
3. Clementine Stoney (AUS) 1:00.58 

December 9, 2001 - Day 3
Women's 50 meter backstroke 
1. Janine Pietsch (GER) 28.00 
2. Diane Bui Duyet (FRA) 28.39 
3. Charlene Wittstock (RSA) 28.43 

South African Championships
January 4, 2002 - Day 2
In the ladies 50m backstroke, Charlene Wittstock continued her recent run of form when she showed great underwater work in posting a credible 28.58 to claim her place in the South African team for the forthcoming FINA World Short Course Championships in Moscow. The Mr. Price Seagulls swimmer looked comfortable and is sure to come up against Sarah Price of Great Briton in tomorrow nights final. The ladies 100m backstroke final followed with another visitor, Sarah Price from Great Britain claiming the honors in a continental best of 59.97 ahead of Charlene Wittstock (Mr. Price Seagulls) who was a tad of her record claiming silver in 1:00.68. In the ladies 50m backstroke, Charlene Wittstock is set to take on Sarah Price of Great Britain in what is sure to be a pulsating final. Wittstock recorded a 28.60 while Price settled for a 29.79. They accounted for Bevin Reynolds (30.40) and Candice Little (30.73) respectively.
January 5, 2002 - Day 3
In the ladies 50m backstroke, Charlene Wittstock continued her recent run of form when she showed great underwater work in posting a credible 28.58 to claim her place in the South African team for the forthcoming FINA World Short Course Championships in Moscow. The Mr. Price Seagulls swimmer looked comfortable and is sure to come up against Sarah Price of Great Briton in tomorrow nights final. The ladies 100m backstroke final followed with another visitor, Sarah Price from Great Britain claiming the honors in a continental best of 59.97 ahead of Charlene Wittstock (Mr. Price Seagulls) who was a tad of her record claiming silver in 1:00.68. In the ladies 50m backstroke, Charlene Wittstock is set to take on Sarah Price of Great Britain in what is sure to be a pulsating final. Wittstock recorded a 28.60 while Price settled for a 29.79. They accounted for Bevin Reynolds (30.40) and Candice Little (30.73) respectively. Charlene Wittstock claimed yet another continental mark in the ladies 50m backstroke when she accounted for Sarah Price from Great Britain. Price had had the better of the local lass in the longer distances, however it was Wittstock who had a great start and hung in there. Working on her turn and using the underwater to her advantage Charlene was victorious in a time of 28.26 shaving .19 seconds off her mark established at the recent FINA World Cup meet in Rio in November. Price had to settle for a 28.46.
January 6, 2002 - Day 4
Sarah Price from Great Britain posted a fine 2:06.94, yet another fastest time ever on the African continent, when she showed a clean set of heels in the ladies 200m backstroke. Local ace Charlene Wittstock (Mr. Price Seagulls) claimed the silver when she recorded a 2:10.26 while club-mate and promising junior Melissa Corfe won the bronze in 2:12.80 ahead of Romina Armellini (Wanderers) who posted a time of 2:12.91

World Cup VIII meet in Stockholm, Sweden.
January 22, 2002
50 meter backstroke 
1. Jennifer Carroll, CAN 27.31 NR 
2. Haley Cope, USA 27.64 
3. Charlene Wittstock, RSA 28.16 

200 meter backstroke 
1. Charlene Wittstock, RSA 2:09.74 
2. Esther Baron, FRA 2:10.19 
3. Melissa Morgan, AUS 2:11.41 

January 23, 2002
100 meter backstroke 
1. Haley Cope, USA 0:59.66 
2. Charlene Wittstock, RSA 1:00.25 
3. Jennifer Carroll, CAN 1:00.30 

Berlin World Cup Meet
January 26, 2002
200 meter backstroke 
1. Lindsay Benko, USA 2:06.86 
2. Antje Buschschulte, GER 2:08.18 
3. Charlene Wittstock, RSA 2:09.82 

Short Course World Championships
April 3, 2002
Women's 100 meter backstroke (topt 16 qualify for semifinals) 
1. Jennifer Carroll (CAN) 1:00.22 
2. Louise Ornstedt (DEN) 1:00.29 
3. Diana MacManus (USA) 1:00.41 
4. Irina Amshennikova (UKR) 1:00.46 
5. Zhan Shu (CHN) 1:00.54 
6. Haley Cope (USA) 1:00.60 
7. Ilona Hlavackova (CZE) 1:00.63 
8. Clementine Stoney (AUS) 1:00.75 
9. Anna Gostomelsky (ISR) 1:00.76 
10. Hanae Ito (JPN) 1:00.81 
11. Charlene Wittstock (RSA) 1:00.83 

April 5, 2002
Women's 4x100 meter medley relay (top eight qualify for final) 
1. Sweden 4:00.40 
2. United States 4:00.66 
3. South Africa 4:03.54 

Women's 200 meter backstroke (top eight qualify for final) 
1. Lindsay Benko (USA) 2:06.55 
2. Clementine Stoney (AUS) 2:08.35 
3. Reiko Nakamura (JPN) 2:08.51 
4. Charlene Wittstock (RSA) 2:08.79 

MANCHESTER Commonwealth Games
August 1, 2002
Women's 100 meter backstroke 
1. Sarah Price (ENG) 1:01.06 CGR, n 
2. Dyana Calub (AUS) 1:01.86 
3. Giaan Rooney (AUS) 1:02.22 
4. Charlene Wittstock (RSA) 1:02.42 n 

Women's 50m Backstroke
5 1 WITTSTOCK Charlene Lynette 
South Africa (RSA) 29.18 

FINA World Cup Tour Begins in Rio
November 16, 2002
South Africa's Charlene Wittstock, second in the 50 back, took the 200 in 2:08.98, less than a second ahead of the USA's Pam Hanson.
50 meter backstroke
1. Haley Cope (USA) 27.77 
2. Charlene Wittstock (RSA) 28.00 
200 meter backstroke 
1. Charlene Wittstock (RSA) 2.08.98 

South African National Swimming Championships
April 14, 2003
Other swimmers qualifying for Worlds included South Africa's teenage workhorse Melissa Corfe, who took five national titles in winning the 200/400/800/1500 frees, and 200 back, only the latter of which was fast enough to qualify for Worlds. In that event, Corfe got the better of backstroke mainstay Charlene Wittstock, winning in 2:14.90 to Wittstock's 2:15.10. Wittstock also qualified for Worlds in the 50/100 back, taking those titles in 29.56 and 1:02.56 respectively. 

South African World Cup Meet
December 3, 2003
200m backstroke women 
1. Melissa Corfe (RSA) 2:10.50 
2. Da-Hye Lee (KOR) 2:11.07 
3. Charlene Wittstock (RSA) 2:11.13. 

South African Olympic Trials - Day 1
April 16, 2004
In contrast, the 200 back looks to be a fast race with Melissa Corfe first to the wall tonight in 2:15.46. She appears to have Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry's African record of 2:12.47 in her sights. Second fastest tonight was Charlene Wittstock in 2:17.02. 
South African Trials - Day 2
April 18, 2004
Silver went to stalwart Charlene Wittstock (CGA) in a time of 26.63 while the 14-year-old Tanya Strydom (KZN) (26.73) once again put up her hand with a solid performance. 
South African Trials - Day 3
April 19, 2004
The 50m backstroke semis followed: Charlene Wittstock (CGA) posted a 29.48 to head up the seeding for tomorrow nights final. Renate du Plessis (WP) (30.02), Romina Armellini (CGA) (30.08), Monique Malan (30,27) and Romy Altman (WP) (30.66) are all in the mix and some exciting racing is predicted. 
South African Trials Day 4
April 22, 2004
The ladies' 100m backstroke was exciting but not fast. Charlene Wittstock tried her best to get close to the 1:02,42 standard but her 1:03,17 was a tad off the pace and will now have to sit back and reflect on what might have been, her Athens dreams in tatters.

Telkom South African Championships
September 3, 2004 - Day 1
The ladies 100m backstroke is sure to be on of the highlight event of Friday's finals. Charlene Wittstock, now swimming for Tuks, showed a welcome return to form, her effort of 1:01.62 setting her apart from the pack who were headed by Melissa Corfe (1:03.15) and Romy Altmann (Maties) who recorded a time of 1:04.17. the medals are sure to be contested by this trio. 
September 4, 2004 - Day 3
> Charlene Wittstock (Tuks) has shown a welcome return to form after an indifferent beginning to the year, when she posted a 28.81 well ahead of Romy Altmann's (Matties) 29.81. 

South Africa's "Beijing Relay Project"
September 25, 2005
Back in competition for the first time since her shoulder injury will be national record-holder Charlene Wittstock, who will provide Corfe and Co with stiff competition in the backstroke events, while Wendy Trott of Cape Town will be pushing her rivals all the way in the longer freestyle events. 

KZN Aquatic Championships
December 14, 2005
The women's 100m backstroke should be a classic with Corfe and KZN record holder and Olympian, Charlene Wittstock (Tuks), in a class of their own and Wittstock on the comeback trail.

Telkom SA National Aquatic Championships
April 15, 2007
As if the prospect of being the the next Princess of Monaco wasn't enough, Benoni-born blonde bombshell, Charlene Wittstock, again became South Africa's 50m women's backstroke champion at the King's Park Swimming Pool in Durban on Friday night. Wittstock, 29, who is romantically linked to Prince Albert II, has her sights on 2008 Olympic games in China, which she says would be her swansong. On Friday evening, Wittstock completed the 50m backstroke final at the Telkom SA National Aquatic Championships in 30:16 seconds, to finish third behind Australia's Sophie Edington and Brazil's Fabiola Molina. 

Charlene Wittstock with fellow Olympian Terence Parkin