By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
After three days of competition, South Africa’s top athletes have no plans of slowing down as the Records and FINA World Championships Qualification times continue to pour in at the SA National Short Course Swimming Championships in Pietermaritzburg.
Tatjana Schoenmaker was once again in top form, adding the 200m breaststroke gold medal to her tally with a new African Record and FINA Qualification time of 2:18.02, beating her previous mark of 2:18.20.
“The improvement is small but it’s still there, which is very exciting. This is one of my best swims for this season.” said Schoenmaker.
Joining the African Record Holder on the FINA Qualification list was silver medalist in the breaststroke, Kaylene Corbett, who finished with a time of 2:22.43, while the bronze in the event was claimed by Emily Visagie in 2:25.91.
“I am very very happy, considering the situation of the season and my training. We have had to get creative with a lot of home work-outs but it has shown me how much I love swimming since I couldn’t be in the pool.” said Corbett.
Schoenmaker was not done, as she concluded the evening finals with a FINA Qualification time in the 50m breaststroke, setting a new South African Record in 30.20 ahead of Caitlin de Lange in 31.62 and Corbett in 31.75.
In the 100m individual medley, it was Aimee Canny and Rebecca Meder that scooped the FINA Qualification times.
Canny posted a new South African Record in the process of 1:00.31, shedding 0.08secs from Tayla Lovemore’s 2018 time of 1:00.39, while Meder finished with the silver medal in a FINA Qualification time of 1:00.57. De Lange won the bronze in 1:02.93.
“Going in, I didn’t expect that time and Rebecca went out hard and I tried to stay with her as long as I could and it was an amazing race.
“When I turned after the breaststroke, we were neck and neck and I sprint the freestyle, so I knew I had the win.” said Canny.
Meder went one better in the 100m backstroke, claiming the top spot in 59.80, followed by Kristen Straszacker in 1:01.77 and Michaela de Villiers in 1:03.02, while Canny won the silver in the 100m freestyle in 54.27 behind Erin Gallagher in 53.90 and ahead of Inge Weidemann in 55.75.
Gallagher bagged her second gold of the evening in the 50m butterfly in 26.60, with Weidemann coming in second in 27.39 and Natalie Landmann third in 27.40.
With seven gold medals out of seven races, Matthew Sates dominated the 100m individual medley with a FINA Qualification time of 52.87 and also grabbed the 100m freestyle win in 48.33 and the 50m butterfly gold in 23.55.
Matthew Bosch and Douglas Erasmus claimed the silver and bronze in the freestyle, touching the wall in 49.07 and 49.18, the second and third place in the medley went to Pieter Coetze and Luca Holtzhausen in 54.43 and 56.36, while the rest of the butterfly medal podium was made up of Coetze and Daniel Ronaldson in 24.10 and 24.11, respectively.
Coetze also won the 100m backstroke with a time of 52.55 ahead of Martin Binedell in 54.04 and Ruard van Renen in 54.90, while Ayrton Sweeney was very happy with his gold medal in the 200m breaststroke in 2:10.35 followed by Kian Keylock in 2:12.43 and Matthew Randle in 2:13.37.
Dune Coetzee won her second gold medal, this time in the 200m butterfly in 2:13.99 to Leigh McMorran’s 2:18.55 and Carli Antonopoulous’ 2:19.85, while Ross Hartigan claimed the gold in the men’s 200m butterfly in 1:58.29 to Ruan Rass’ 2:01.22 and Ruan Breytenbach’s 2:02.26.
The men’s 50m breaststroke gold medal was claimed by Brenden Crawford in 27.87, with the silver going to Jordan Royle in 28.01 and the bronze to Luke Ashton in 28.33.
During the morning heats session, Christian Sadie celebrated three new South African Records in the 100m breaststroke, the 50m butterfly and the 100m backstroke S7 multi-disability category, clocking 1:21.78, 30.03 and 1:12.59, respectively.
The SA National Short Course Swimming Championships will conclude tomorrow with the heats starting at 09h30 and the finals beginning at 12h00.
FINA World Championships Qualification Times Following Day 03:
- Matthew Sates – 400m freestyle – 3:43.55
- Matthew Sates – 100m butterfly – 50.72
- Matthew Sates – 100m individual medley – 52.87
- Tatjana Schoenmaker – 100m breaststroke – 1:03.89 (African Record)
- Tatjana Schoenmaker – 200m breaststroke – 2:18.02 (African Record)
- Tatjana Schoenmaker – 50m breaststroke – 30.20 (SA Record)
- Rebecca Meder – 200m individual medley – 2:09.76
- Rebecca Meder – 100m individual medley – 1:00.57
- Aimee Canny – 100m individual medley – 1:00.31 (SA Record)
- Kaylene Corbett – 200m breaststroke – 2:22.43