By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The second day of the SA National Short Course Swimming Championships in Pietermaritzburg saw Tatjana Schoenmaker set a new African Record with a FINA Qualification Time in the 100m breaststroke, while Matthew Sates added the 100m butterfly and Rebecca Meder the 200m individual medley.
Schoenmaker broke her own 2018 African Record of 1:05.12 during the morning heats session, clocking a fast 1:04.38, and improved on that time during the afternoon finals, winning the event in an exceptional 1:03.89. Emily Visagie and Kaylene Corbett claimed the silver and bronze in 1:07.37 and 1:07.45, respectively.
“I was very happy with my morning swim and I didn’t feel as fast in the finals but when I saw the time I was pretty shocked and I didn’t expect that at all.
“I tried to drop my time in the 100m and I have proven to myself that I can do 1:03 so I am just hoping that I can go under 2:18 in the 200m, I will be very happy with that for my final race.” said Schoenmaker.
Meder turned up the tempo in the 200m individual medley, winning the race with a FINA Qualification time of 2:09.76, over 5secs ahead of Visagie in 2:15.71 and Paige Brombacher in 2:16.63, while in the final race of the evening, the 200m freestyle, she claimed the bronze in 1:59.46 behind Aimee Canny in 1:56.78 and Dune Coetzee in 1:58.76.
There was no stopping Sates, as he bagged his second FINA Qualification, this time in the 100m butterfly, touching the wall in 50.72 ahead of Daniel Ronaldson in 52.97 and Ross Hartigan in 54.06.
Sates also won the 200m individual medley in 1:55.88 to Ayrton Sweeney’s 1:59.83 and Andre van Huyssteen’s 2:01.80 and the 200m freestyle in 1:44.99 to Dante Nortje’s 1:48.63 and Kobe Ndebele’s 1:49.15.
It was a close finish for Erin Gallagher, who just missed out on a FINA Qualification time, when she scooped the gold medal in the 100m butterfly in 58.35, just 0.13secs off the 58.22 requirement, with Coetzee taking the silver in 1:00.44 and Inge Weidemann the bronze in 1:01.72.
“I am constantly learning from my swims so there is a lot that I can take out of this, I don’t see it as a loss today, as it will improve me for tomorrow.” said Gallagher.
Pieter Coetze walked away with the honours in the 50m backstroke with a time of 24.08, while the silver went to Ruard van Renen in 25.49 and the bronze to Chris Luus in 25.87 and later on in the evening, managed a silver in the 200m backstroke in 1:55.98, behind Martin Binedell in 1:54.14 and ahead of Guy Brooks in 1:59.15.
In the 50m backstroke, the gold medal was claimed by Kristen Straszacker in 28.69, followed by Michaela de Villiers in 28.90 and Natalie Landmann in 29.45, while the medal podium in the men’s 100m breaststroke consisted of Brenden Crawford in 1:00.54, Jordan Royle in 1:00.82 and Kian Keylock in 1:00.96.
The gold medal in the women’s 200m backstroke went to Samantha Randle in 2:12.84, ahead of Hannah Pearse in 2:13.83 and Zoe Phillips in 2:15.29.
The SA National Short Course Swimming Championships will continue tomorrow with the heats starting at 09h30 and the finals beginning at 15h30.
FINA World Championships Qualification Times Following Day 02:
- Matthew Sates – 400m freestyle – 3:43.55
- Matthew Sates – 100m butterfly – 50.72
- Tatjana Schoenmaker – 100m breaststroke – 1:03.89 (African Record)
- Rebecca Meder – 200m individual medley – 2:09.76