Kayla Van Der Merwe Lowers 100 Breast British Age Group Record to 1:07.06

7th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships 2019

  • 50-Meter Course
  • Duna Arena, Budapest (Hungary)
  • Pool swimming: Tuesday, August 20 – Sunday, August 25, 2019
  • Heats 9:30am GMT+2 (3:30 am EDT / 12:30 am PDT)/ Semifinals and Finals 5:30pm GMT+2 (11:30am EDT / 8:30am PDT)
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Friday, 23 August 2019

16-year-old Kayla Van Der Merwe lowered her own British Age Group Record for 16-year-old girls with 1:07.06 in the 100m breaststroke final at FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Budapest. That swim earned her a bronze medal behind Russia’s Evgenia Chikunova (1:06.93) and USA’s Kaitlyn Dobler (1:06.97) and took .06 off her previous British Age Group Record of 1:07.12.

Van Der Merwe had gone 1:07.12 in her gold-medal performance at the 2019 LEN European Junior Championships in Kazan Russia in July. There, she broke the 1:08 barrier for the first time in semi-finals with 1:07.96 before going 1:07.12 to win gold in finals. The latter swim erased Olympian Siobhan-Marie O’Connor from the British Age Group Records for 16-year-olds in the 100 breast. O’Connor had owned the record since 2012.

Van Der Merwe split 31.30-35.76 in Budapest on Friday night to go 1:07.06; in Kazan she had been 31.76-35.36. She won a silver medal in the 50m breast at World Junior Championships on Wednesday night, going 30.91 for another British Age Group Record.

Van Der Merwe remains the sixth-fastest British 100 breaststroker in history:

Rank Name Time Date
1 Siobhan-Marie O’Connor 1:06.34 01/07/16
2 Sophie Taylor 1:06.35 28/07/14
3 Molly Renshaw 1:06.73 22/07/19
4 Sarah Vasey 1:06.78 23/04/17
5 Chloe Tutton 1:06.88 07/08/16
6 Kayla Van Der Merwe 1:07.06 23/08/19



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3 years ago

I wouldn’t drink the Loughborough Kool Aid if I were her. She seems to be doing just fine right where she is.

13 % Chinese person
Reply to  marley09
3 years ago

For you :

‘Winchester Cathedral , you’re bringing me down ,
You should’ve done something , My baby left town .’

3 years ago

One question I have is how much more is she going to improve from here at Winchester under Zoe Baker. I mean if they have a strong coach to athlete relationship I think she will learn and improve. But, I do wonder how much she’ll improve in a smaller club compared to somewhere like Loughborough who have obviously been known to have some great breaststrokers where she could come on leaps and bounds with the right coaching.

Reply to  Jeff
3 years ago

She’s only 16, she wouldn’t be in line to go to Loughborough yet.

If she really wanted she could move to somewhere like Millfield, but why bother when she’s doing so well at Winchester?

Long term she can make her own choice, whether that’s staying home and training at Winchester, going to a NTC or going over the US and swimming NCAA.

Reply to  Jeff
3 years ago

No way she goes faster at Loughborough by training only size and strength.
Zoe Baker ex world record holder (in 50brs ) has done an amazing job and will have gone all in with her and female breaststroke is the discipline you can achieve world class status at the youngest age bass if history (penny heynes/ beard/ jones / ruta etc )
She needs to stay with Zoe and more than likely will never go faster when she leaves.
Loughborough is overrated, Mel is only interested in Adam, hemmings has a good heart but his group is so split now (open water / litchfields/ wood / SMOC ) and uni has been very average with Manley and… Read more »

Reply to  Jeff
3 years ago

A few years ago Kayla was 2nd last in heats at Nationals in 1.15 – She just swam 1.07.0 for her 2nd WJ medal… What more could they have done as a team? They have goals yet to be reached and I think VDM will rightly stick with Baker.

Super swim either way!

m d e
Reply to  Jeff
3 years ago

Why on earth would you change something that is working?

Swimming has a serious problem with people being too eager to change things that are working. While she is still improving so rapidly moving programs would be all sorts of dumb.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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