Matt Sates Just Misses OLY Qualification In 400 IM, 1 Shot Left With 100 Fly


As day 4 of the 2021 South African National Championships got underway, swimmers contested the 400 IM, 100 backstroke, and 400 freestyle. The meet serves as South Africa’s Olympic qualifying meet an in order to earn automatic selection for the team, they must finish either first or second in the final and hit a time under the FINA A standard in the event.

Matthew Sates has been painfully close in every Olympic event that he’s raced this week and continued the trend with his 400 IM swim of 4:19.38. The swim was enough to win the event but was over the selection cut of 4:15.84. Sates was even closer to the cut in the prelims of the 400 IM when he swam a 4:17.91.

Previously in the meet Sates swam a 49.29 100 freestyle which was within a second of the 48.57 cut and he swam a 1:48.08 200 freestyle, just over a second slower than the 1:47.02 that he needed. Sates will have another shot at qualification in the 100 butterfly where he will need to hit a 51.96 or faster to make the team.

In the women’s 400 IM, Dakota Tucker hit the top time with a 4:50.48 while Samantha Randle and Trinity Hearne followed in a 4:56.88 and 4:57.93 for silver and bronze, respectively. All three of them were a decent bit over the 4:38.53 Olympic standard in the event.

Rebecca Meder delivered a solid win in the 100 backstroke with her 1:02.28 to edge out Hannah Pearse‘s 1:04.59 and Michaela de Villiers‘ 1:04.61.

Getting a little closer to the Olympic standard, Pieter Coetze swam to victory in the men’s 100 backstroke with a 54.25 compared to the 53.85 cut. Martin Binedell came in two seconds after Coetze with a 56.47 and Ian Venter was third in a 57.21. In the women’s 400 freestyle the field was quite far off the Olympic standard of 4:07.90 as Dune Coetzee raced to goal in a 4:25.47 while Hannah Robertson was a 4:26.19 for silver and Aimee Canny was a 4:26.45 for 4:26.45.


  • Women’s S14&15 100 Breast: Michaela Kretzen (1:41.95)
  • Women’s S1&13 100 Breast: Alani Ferreira (1:23.97)
  • Men’s S14&15 100 Breast: Aaron Putz (1:17.49)
  • Men’s S1&13 100 Breast: Hendrik Van Der Merwe
  • Women’s S14&15 50 Fly: Michaela Kretzen (39.15)
  • Women’s S1&13 50 Fly: Katelyn Marais (39.68)
  • Men’s S14&15 50 Fly: Ethan Paula (29.54)
  • Men’s S1&13 50 Fly: Christian Sadie (30.91)

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