2021 RSA Nationals: Chad Le Clos & 17-Yr-Old Ethan Du Preez Qualify for Tokyo


The 2021 South African National Championships continue at Newton Park in Gqeberha, RSA as swimmers competed for Olympic qualifying standards in the 100 free and 200 fly. Multi-class swimmers (para-classes S1-S13 and S14-S15) also competed in the 100 back and 50 breast. Highlighting the meet was the men’s 200 fly final, where the top two finishers qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics by dipping under the Olympic A cut of 1:56.48.

During the prelims of the men’s 200 fly, 17-year-old Ethan du Preez swam the top time at 1:57.33, ahead of 2012 Olympic champion Chad le Clos‘ 1:58.95. Yet it was the veteran le Clos who overtook teen du Preez with an effort of 1:55.88, easily dipping under the 1:56.48 A cut.

Settling for second was du Preez at 1:56.44, also qualifying by 0.04s. At the 2021 South Africa Grand Prix #3 earlier in the year, du Preez threw down a 1:56.16 lifetime best. Both rank within the top-20 times in the world this season.

Placing third was Ross Hartigan at 2:01.73, which was seven-tenths slower than his morning swim of 2:01.03.

After winning the 50 fly on day one, 22-year-old Erin Gallagher picked up her second national title in the 100 free, touching in at 54.89. During the preliminaries, Gallagher cruised to a 56.56 effort.

Placing second by two one-hundredths was 17-year-old Aimee Canny at 54.91, also edging out third-place finisher Emma Chelius (55.04). Canny’s swim crushed Gallagher’s 2016 age record of 56.30.

On the men’s side, 17-year-old Matt Sates topped the 100 free at 49.29, taking down Zane Waddell‘s 2015 age record of 50.58. Sliding in for second place by 0.07s was 19-year-old Matthew Bosch at 50.65.

B-final winner Daniel Ronaldson improved from 51.57 in prelims to 50.66 in finals, which is the third-fastest swim in the event.

The entire women’s 200 fly top three consisted of teenagers, led by 18-year-old Dune Coetzee (2:13.87). Coetzee had the fastest swim during the preliminaries, touching in at 2:11.18.

Rounding out the top three were 17-year-old Trinity Hearne (2:16.64) and 16-year-old Leigh McMorran (2:19.09).

Day Two Multi-Class Event Winners:

  • Men’s 100 Back (S14 & S15): Aaron Putz (S14), 1:13.04
  • Men’s 100 Back (S1-S13): Christian Sadie (S7), 1:15.01
  • Women’s 100 Back (S14 & S15): Michaela Kretzen (S14), 1:26.15
  • Women’s 100 Back (S1-S13): Paula Van Zyl (S10), 1:28.33 | Kat Swanepoel (S2), 2:14.78
  • Men’s 50 Breast (S14 & S15): Aaron Putz (S14), 35.64
  • Men’s 50 Breast (S1-S13): Kaleb van der Merwe (S8), 39.57
  • Women’s 50 Breast (S14 & S15): Michaela Kretzen (S14), 46.50
  • Women’s 50 Breast (S1-S13): Alani Ferreira (S13), 39.13

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3 years ago

Is Matt Bosch related to Dylan?

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick has had the passion for swimming since his first dive in the water in middle school, immediately falling for breaststroke. Nick had expanded to IM events in his late teens, helping foster a short, but memorable NCAA Div III swim experience at Calvin University. While working on his B.A. …

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