Matt Sates is a competitive swimmer who holds multiple world Jr records and is a 2021 Olympian. He represents South Africa internationally.
Sates was one to watch in South Africa since his age-group swimming days. In August of 2019 (recently turned 16), he won South African Short Course National Championships in the 200 breast, 200 IM, and 400 IM, and had a number of other individual top 5 finishes – including finishing as the runner-up in the 100 fly.
On July 11, 2020, Sates announced his verbal commitment to swim at the University of Georgia.
2021 World Cup
At the 2021 World Cup circuit, Sates put his name out to the world in a big way. At the first stop in Berlin, he broke 2 world Jr records in the 200m free (1:40.65) and 200m IM (1:51.45). He took wins on both of the events, taking down major names like Danas Rapsys and Kyle Chalmers.
At the 2nd stop in Budapest, Sates wasted no time asserting himself, registering a come-from-behind victory in the 400m free to take the win over Rapsys and clock another world Jr record (3:37.92).
2021 Olympic Games
After missing Olympic qualification at the 2021 South African Championships in April, Sates competed at the Cana Grand Prix the following month, where he hit the FINA ‘A’ cut in the 200 IM, qualifying him for his first Olympic Games. Later that month, he also hit the ‘A’ cut in the 100 fly at the Grand Prix in Durban.
In Tokyo at the Olympic Games, Sates qualified for the semi-finals of the 200 IM out of prelims (15th, 1:58.08) and ultimately wound up placing 14th overall (1:58.75). The next day, he swam prelims of the 100 fly, placing 32nd overall (52.43).