Annette Cowley-Nel (born 06/01/1967) was a world class freestyle swimmer.
Cowley was born in South Africa to an English mother. Her time in the Commonwealth trial was faster than the eventual gold medal time, and she would have been favourite to win the race.
In the 1986 she moved to the UK and hoped to represent England in the 100m Freestyle at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. She was disqualified, with Zola Budd, on residency grounds. At the time South Africa was subject to an international boycott in protest at the Apartheid government. The ban was upheld by the High Court, and she was unable to compete. She was unable to compete for South Africa after the re-admittance of South Africa to international sport, as she had represented England previously.
She is married to Jeremy Nel, and with him she is co-owner of "Luxury Brands", a marketing and communications agency.