SOUTH AFRICAN GRAND PRIX #2 – DURBAN
- Thursday, February 20th – Sunday, February 23rd
- Kings Park Pool, Durban, KZ, RSA
- 50m (LCM)
- SwimSwam Preview
- Meet Mobile – 2020 Grand Prix Invitational Swimming Meet-KZ
The South African swimming scene has had its outlook enhanced through just the early rounds of this Grand Prix #2 in Durban.
As we reported yesterday, 16-year-old swimmer Ethan du Preez powered his way to a huge new personal best in the men’s 200m fly, hitting the wall in a time of 1:56.97. That hacked well over 1 1/2 seconds off his previous lifetime best of 1:58.67, a time he logged in the heats of this event at the 2019 World Junior Championships.
During this morning’s finals at this South African Grand Prix in Durban, however, du Preez proved that his prelims performance was no fluke. The teen dropped more time, shaving just under half a second off of yesterday’s mark to check-in with an even quicker 1:56.50.
Taking it out in 56.30 and bringing it home in 1:00.20, du Preez represented the only man to delve under the 2:00 threshold in this Chad Le Clos-less final. Comparing his splits this morning against his 1:56.97 outing yesterday, du Preez opened the former time in 56.08 and closed in 1:00.89.
With his 1:56.50, du Preez of Cypersmark Aquatics now sits only .02 shy of the 1:56.48 FINA ‘A’ Olympic qualifying mark for this year’s Summer Olympic Games. The teen will have the spotlight upon him come the South African Olympic Trials slated for early April.
In the meantime, his 1:56.50 outing now bumps him up a spot from yesterday’s 4th ranking to become South Africa’s 3rd fastest performer ever in the men’s 200m fly event.
South Africa’s Top 5 Performers All-Time in Men’s 200 Fly
|#1 – 1:52.96||CHAD LE CLOS||RSA||2012 OLYMPIC GAMES||7/28/2012||LONDON|
|#2 – 1:54.51||Sebastien Rousseau||RSA||2009 World Champs||7/26/2009||Rome|
|#3 – 1:56.50||Ethan du Preez||RSA||2020 South African Grand Prix||2/22/2020||Durban|
|#4 – 1:56.92||Dylan Bosch||RSA||4/7/2014||Durban|
|#5 – 1:58.33||Michael Meyer||RSA||2014 Pan Pacific Champs||8/21/2014||Gold Coast|
For additional perspective, du Preez’s time would rank him as the 4th fastest American 15-16-year-old performer all-time, sitting only behind American icon Michael Phelps (1:54.58), reigning World Junior Champion Luca Urlando (1:55.21) and NCAA Swimmer of the Year Swammy Award winner for 2019 Andrew Seliskar (1:56.42).
Du Preez now enters the list of top 20 performers in the world this season at slot #14.
In other events here in Durban, 17-year-old Rebecca Meder nearly broke the South African national record in the women’s 200m IM. After nailing a personal best of 2:13.47 in last night’s prelims, the Seagulls swimmer broke through to a new career-quickest of 2:12.84 to beat the field handily for gold.
Meder’s 2:12.84 this evening is within striking distance of the long-standing South African national standard of 2:12.53 Kathryn Meaklim put on the books in December of 2009.
Entering this meet Meder’s personal best rested at 2:14.28, so the teen busted that to bits, entering 2:12 territory in a big way. For perspective, her time would rank her among the top 18 American performers all-time among 17-18-year-old women.
As with du Preez, Meder, too, is circling the FINA ‘A’ qualifying mark, with the women’s 200m IM QT sitting at 2:12.56.
Also in the water this morning was Commonwealth Games champion Tatjiana Schoenmaker, with the TUKS swimmer kicking off her 2020 calendar year with a solid 1:07.66 win in the women’s 100m breaststroke.
Speedster Erin Gallagher scored 2 wins here in Durban, first registering the only sub-1:02 time of the women’s 100m fly field with 59.02, followed by a gold medal-worthy swim of 25.20 in the 50m free.