1969 South African Games


The South African Games of 1969 featured three British Olympic swimmers - Martyn Woodroffe, Alex Jackson and Margaret Auton. Woodroffe won the silver medal in 200m butterfly at the 1968 Olympic Games, while Alex Jackson won a bronze medal in the women's 100-metre freestyle at the 1970 European Aquatics Championships.

They would compete in local galas at Newlands, Paarl and Kimberley, before being banned by the British swimming authorities from swimming against Rhodesia in Salisbury.  


22 March 1969. 

On 17 March 1969 South African superstar swimmer Karen Muir takes the oath and declares the South African Games open. Despite being the best women's backstroke swimmer in the world, Karen had been excluded from competing in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico. The three British swimmers added a small international flavour to the swimming events, the British girls were no match for the local girl. Olympic silver medalist in the 200m butterfly Martyn Woodroffe did beat local champion Vernon Slovin by 0,4 in that event, with Rhodesian John Keyter in third place by a further 0,6 seconds.

It must have been quite a race! Keyter was to beat them both in the 100m butterfly, with Slovin finishing in third behind Woodroffe.

The Brit later set a new South African record in the 400m individual medley - breaking the record held by Brian Elliot by 5 seconds. Woodroffe was beaten into second place in the 200m individual medley by Rhodesian Rodney Hamilton, who set a new South African record. 

In the women's events Nancy Harris of Kimberley beat Margaret Auton by 3 seconds in the 200m butterfly, although Auton won the 100m butterfly in a new SA record. 

Brith swimmer Alexandra Jackson (below) with South African champion Katinka Germishuis

Alex Jackson and Margaret Auton of Great Britain at the Newlands swimming pool in Cape Town.