Could Matt Sates Be The Next Michael Phelps?

Courtesy of P2Life, a SwimSwam partner.

If you’ve been paying attention to the international age group swimming scene you’ve probably heard his name: Matthew Sates.

Matt is a 17 year old South African swimmer and he’s been torching some of the fastest times ever in the All Time Top Age Group Times for the 17-18 age group.

Only the legendary Michael Phelps now ranks above Sates in the 200 IM, and 100 Fly in the 17-18 age group. Below is one such time (and more of his times further down this article).

100 Fly LCM (17-18)

Matt Sates #2 Michael Phelps #1 Michael Andrew #7 Caeleb Dressel #23
51.83 51.10 52.57 52.96

Could Matt surpass Michael’s times and later accomplishments? We will have to wait and see as Matt still has another 14 months left in the 17-18 Age Group, only turning 19 at the end of July 2022.

The star has proven himself among South Africa’s best in events such as the 100 and 200 free, 200 IM, and 100 fly. Upon observing Matt’s premier events, they provide a striking similarity to Michael’s. Matt is only missing a ranking in the 200 fly, but it’s likely due to the fact he has yet to swim it in this age group. Given the stunning time improvements Matt has made in all of his events over the past 18 months, it’s safe to assume he would rank highly in that event as well.

The following charts showcase how Matt compares both in Times and All Time Rankings in the few events he has swum this year (as a 17 year old) to some of America’s elite in the 17-18 age range. The charts below show Matt’s times besides Michael Phelps, Caeleb Dressel, Michael Andrew and others of America’s historical best below the age of 18. The swimmers listed below have held World Records, been crowned Olympic Champions and/or are candidates to make the USA Olympic Team at the upcoming trials.

Interestingly enough, three of these swimmers listed below have something in common, other than talent, hard work, world class coaching and dedication. They all benefited at a critical stage in their swimming development from the very same nutritional formulas that fueled 40% of the US Men’s National Swim Team: P2Life Nutrition. P2Life’s supplements are totally unique and unparalleled, were specifically formulated for swimmers by swimmers, and undergo the most rigorous batch-testing program for the safety of the athletes.

Staying lean is vital to swimmers who want to improve endurance, strength, explosive power and overall well being. P2Life’s supplements are designed to maximize your power-to-weight ratio, which in short means increasing strength and maintaining a lean streamlined build, which is critical for maximizing speed and knifing through the water. They also help speed up recovery, so you can continuously show up at your training ready to put in 100%, all of which help crank out blistering speeds such as the ones you see below.

200 IM LCM (17-18)

Matt Sates #3 Michael Phelps #1 Carson Foster #2 Michael Andrew #4
1:57.60 1:55.94 1:57.59 1:59.12

100 Free LCM (17-18)

Matt Sates #11 Caeleb Dressel #2 Michael Phelps #4 Nathan Adrian #40
49.29 48.78 49.05 50.01

200 Free LCM (17-18)

Matt Sates #11 Michael Phelps #1 Townley Haas #7 Kieran Smith #10
1:48.08 1:45.99 1:47.55 1:47.72

As impressive as those times and placings are, just take a look at the improvements he has made since September of 2019, when he was barely 16 years old. Under the superb guidance of well known and respected South African Coach Wayne Ridden, and following the same P2Life Nutritional program that has helped a multitude of other swimmers develop into International Champions, the improvements made by Matt over the past 18 months are nothing short of jaw dropping.

These times are even more phenomenal when considering that South Africa’s multiple lockdowns have been considered among the strictest in the world, with prolonged training restrictions, and other severe hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sept 2019 May 2021
200 IM 2:05.01 1:57.60
100 Fly 54.24 51.83
200 Fly 2:02.83 No time yet
50 Free 23.81 22.62
100 Free 52.72 49.29
200 Free 1:55.17 1:48.08
400 Free 3:59.15 No time yet
400 IM 4:28.49 SCM Only
100 Breast 1:03.35 No time yet
200 Breast 2:16.41 No time yet

In looking at his current times, it is clear Matt has solidified his name as a swimmer to watch in this year’s Olympics and beyond. Matt has already qualified for the Olympics where he will represent South Africa in the 200 IM (1:57.60) and the 200 Fly (51.83).

Sates is also rumored to be coming to the US to swim in the NCAA collegiate ranks. The school that Matt attends will be lucky to have him, as his times converted to yards indicate that he would be a finalist if not champion in several events already at the NCAA Championships.

Only time will tell if he will go down in the NCAA, Olympic or World Record history books, but if things continue to progress on their current trajectory, Sates’ potential may well be limitless. In 2000, Michael Phelps was the name that rattled the world at his first Olympics, and in 2021, Matt Sates looks like his name may carry the same weight soon enough.

To find out why P2Life is the only product your swimmer should be taking, and understand the proven difference P2Life Nutrition will make to your or your child’s swimming progress, contact us for a one-on-one consultation [email protected]

*Time/ranking information according to USA Swimming All Time Database

About P2Life

P2Life is a family-owned performance-based nutritional supplement company whose products have been specifically formulated for swimmers, by swimmers. Founded by Tim Shead, a Masters Swimming Hall of Fame Inductee and +48x World Record holder, P2Life is dedicated to providing the most effective, and safest nutritional supplements for swimmers. Our formulations have undergone 35+ years of rigorous research and development. Every batch is tested to be certified free of banned and illegal substances by an independent third party, the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG). At P2Life we believe that human potential is limitless when empowered. Our mission is to provide you with superior nutritional tools to enable you to reach your goals and beyond. And the numbers don’t lie. Within one year of launching, P2Life was the preferred choice for 40% of the USA Men’s National Swim at the London Olympics, athletes have brought in 18 Olympic medals, over 800 World Records, +103 National Age Group Records, and counting. P2Life is an international company with locations in the USA, South Africa (where it started and is traded under the brand Ultima Sport), as well as in South East Asia. Ready to feel the P2Life difference? Whether you are an age group swimmer, are going after a college scholarship, have an Olympic dream, or you’re a Masters swimmer. We’re ready to help you achieve your goals.




 P2Life is a SwimSwam partner. 

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 months ago

P2Life is the reason he is fast. Without P2Life he would not be fast.

Reply to  Penguin
7 months ago

P2Life privilege

7 months ago

SwimSwam forgot to turn the comments off. 😈

Reply to  Troyy
7 months ago

Haha yeah. Let’s have fun while we can

7 months ago

411 is SC…

7 months ago

I’m confused, I thought I have settled for Caeleb Dressel already.

7 months ago

XO Tour Llyf3 + P2 = P2life
Maybe if I take their supplements I’ll become Lil Uzi Vert

Coleman's glasses
7 months ago

Sunwoo Hwang was faster than Phelps at 17-18 in the 2 free…

Reply to  Coleman's glasses
7 months ago

And like half a dozen guys in 100 butterfly

7 months ago

omg they left comments on…..lets get wild

The unoriginal Tim
7 months ago

Is Sates qualified for the 100 Fly in Tokyo. He beat Le Clos at trials and has been faster than th A cut this year but I don’t think it has been confirmed?