Kayla Van Der Merwe Cracks New British Junior Record In 100 Breast


On a day when Japanese swimming superstar Rikako Ikee was in the water at the 2018 Manchester International Swim Meet, another teen was making waves of her own. 15-year-old Kayla Van Der Merwe of Bournemouth College Swim Team snagged a new British Junior National Record en route to winning her age group’s 100m breaststroke title.

Stopping the clock at 1:08.14 in the morning heats, Van Der Merwe not only crushed a personal best, but the teen overtook the previous British Junior standard of 1:08.36 held by multiple Commonwealth Games medalist Freya Anderson since 2015. Splitting 32.79/35.57, Van Der Merwe’s 1:08.14 morning swim claimed the top seed of the girls 15&U with ease.

Saving even more speed for the final, Van Der Merwe unleashed a winning time of 1:07.21, blowing her morning effort out of the water. The teen fired off an opening 50 of 32.16 and closed in 35.05 to lower her newly-minted age record even further and top the podium in Manchester. Her time would have garnered her the silver medal behind Stockport Metro’s Katie Matts in the senior final of the women’s 100m breast.

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Great swim – This girl looked quite the athlete physically. Tall & powerful. Nice reminder of Anderson’s ability across the board before she specialised too.

Andrei Vorontsov

Congratulations to coach Zoe Baker!!!

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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