Lara Van Niekerk Lowers Her Own 50 Breast African Record En Route to Silver Medal



  1. GOLD: Ruta Meilutyte (Lithuania) – 28.50
  2. SILVER: Lara van Niekerk (South Africa) – 29.09
  3. BRONZE: Lilly King (United States) – 29.11
  4. Tang Qianting (China) – 29.22
  5. Anna Elendt (Germany) – 29.30
  6. Imogen Clark (Great Britain) – 29.47
  7. Benedetta Pilato (Italy) – 29.48
  8. Veera Kivirinta (Finland) – 29.84

South Africa’s Lara van Niekerk has broken her own African record in the 50 breaststroke for the third time at these 2022 Short Course World Championships.

The 19-year-old clocked a 29.09 in finals, shaving off another 0.18 seconds off from her record-setting prelims swim. Thanks to van Niekerk’s speedy back half, she was able to run down American Lilly King in the final 25 to grab the silver medal. This is her first Short Course World Championships medal of her career.

Van Niekerk entered the meet holding the African record at 29.62, which she had swum this past August.  Over the course of the last two days, she has lowered it by over half a second. She first broke the record in prelims with a 29.45, then clocked a 29.27 in semis to qualify in 3rd for the final.

With her improvement in finals, she is now tied with Italy’s Arianna Castiglioni as the 8th-fastest performer of all-time in the event. She entered the meet as the the 22nd-fastest performer.

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