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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Andrei Vorontsov
4 years ago

Congratulations to coach Zoe Baker!!!

4 years ago

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

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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