2019 SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Tuesday, April 8th – Friday, April 12th
- Kings Park Aquatic Centre, Durban
- Psych Sheet
- SwimSwam Preview
- Day 1 Recap
Women’s 200m Free – Final
A pair of 16-year-olds went 1-2 in tonight’s 200m free final in Durban, with Rebecca Meder clinching the South African national title in a time of 2:00.82. That hacked well over 3 seconds off of her morning swim of 2:04.49 and crushes her own previous personal best of 2:03.73. That mark was produced at the 2017 World Junior Championships.
For her part, fellow 16-year-old Dune Coetzee clocked 2:01.09 to finish less than half a second behind Meder tonight, also clocking a new personal best in the process. Coetzee earned a time of 2:02.83 for 14th at last year’s Youth Olympic Games. She was 2:02.25 at the South African Junior Nationals just weeks ago.
Rounding out the top 3 in tonight’s race was Marlies Ross, who earned bronze in 2:04.44. The women needed at least 1:58.66 to qualify for the Senior World Championships, but all easily clear the standard needed for the World Junior Championships.
Men’s 200m Free – Final
Although Chad Le Clos notched a World Championships-worthy time last night in the men’s 200m fly finals, the 26-year-old South African icon was unable to make the same magic happen in tonight’s 200m freestyle final.
After taking the 2nd seed behind Eben Vorster this morning in 1:51.43 to Vorster’s 1:51.03, Le Clos took the national title in 1:48.55, well off the 1:47.40 needed to book his spot on the Gwangju roster. Le Clos split in a quick 52.40 on the way out, but hurt on the way home, finishing with a back half of 56.15. His time sits well outside the top 25 performers this season.
Le Clos’ personal best is represented by the 1:45.20 national record he clocked in Rio for silver behind Sun Yang at the 2016 Olympic Games. He wound up scratching this event at the 2017 World Championships.
At last year’s Commonwealth Games, Le Clos faded to 7th, registering a time of 1:47.46 while Aussie Kyle Chalmers took gold on the Gold Cost almost 2 seconds faster in 1:45.56.
Behind Le Clos tonight, former Pitt swimmer Vorster took home silver in 1:50.48, while 22-year-old Brent Szurdoki collected bronze in 1:50.55.
Women’s 200m Breast – Final
- GOLD – Tatjana Schoenmaker, 2:24.44
- SILVER – Kaylene Corbett, 2:25.62
- BRONZE – Tailyn Syffert, 2:32.85
Commonwealth Games champion Tatjana Schoenmaker led the women’s 200m breast tonight, stopping the clock at 2:24.44 to take the title in a World Championships-worthy time. Also getting under the qualifying mark was runner-up Kaylene Corbett, who produced a time of 2:25.62 tonight to take silver.
Both of these women were quicker this morning, with Schoenmaker leading the heats with 2:24.11 with Corbett again in close pursuit with a morning swim of 2:24.59.
19-year-old Corbett fired off a huge new personal best mark of 2:25.98 just this past February in Stellenbsoch to take the Grand Prix title. Previous to that Corbett’s personal best stood at the 2:27.68 she logged on the Gold Coast in the semi-finals at last year’s Commonwealth Games. She ultimately clocked a slower 2:29.40 for 8th place in that final.
Schoenmaker’s 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medal winning time was 2:22.02, a new African Continental and South African Record.
Tonight’s bronze medalist was Tailyn Seyffert, just 16, who collected a time of 2:32.85, a new personal best by 2 seconds.
Schoenmaker’s morning time now ranks 7th in the world, while Corbett’s morning swim ranks her 9th.
Men’s 200m Breast – Final
- GOLD – Alaric Basson, 2:13.42
- SILVER – Ayrton Sweeney, 2:15.32
- BRONZE – Bailey Musgrave, 2:16.84
23-year-old Alaric Basson hacked off about 3 seconds from his previous 200m breast personal best to take the title ahead of top-seeded swimmer Ayrton Sweeney. Basson’s personal best headed into these championships was the 2:16.16 he produced for bronze at the 2018 African Championships.
Flash forward to tonight and Basson punched a mark of 2:13.42 to take the title, with Sweeney settling for silver in 2:15.32. Rounding out the top 3 was Bailey Musgrave, who notched 2:16.84, a time representing his first time ever under 2:17 in the event.
The men need a time of 2:11.00, however, to get onto the Gwangju roster.
Women’s 200m Back – Final
- GOLD – Nathania Van Niekerk, 2:11.37
- SILVER – Mariella Venter, 2:12.57
- BRONZE – Samantha Randle, 2:16.85
Hitting a World Championships qualifying time in the women’s 200m backstroke tonight was 20-year-old Nathania Van Niekerk. Van Niekerk produced a winning mark of 2:11.37 to dip under the 2:11.53 QT by just .16, but it was enough to lay claim to a roster spot for Gwangju.
Splitting 1:04.73/1:06.64, Van Niekerk’s 2:11.37 tonight obliterated her 2:16.07 time she put up on the Gold Coast to finish 11th out of heats in the 200m back event at the Commonwealth Games. In fact her mark tonight slashes her previous personal best of 2:12.95 to bits, with that mark produced way back at these same championships in 2015 where Van Niekerk took home the title.
Falling short of qualifying tonight was 19-year-old Mariella Venter, who touched in 2:12.57 for silver, while Samantha Randle took home bronze in 2:16.85, slightly slower than her 2:16.52 time from prelims.
Men’s 200m Back – Final
- GOLD – Christopher Reid, 1:57.11
- SILVER – Martin Binedell, 1:59.13
- BRONZE – Alessio Ferreri, 2:04.46
Making the World Championships grade in the men’s 200m back tonight was Christopher Reid, as the ECA athlete notched a time of 1:57.11 to clear the QT of 1:58.34 and add his name to the Gwangju line-up. His outing tonight rips his previous personal best of 1:58.28 out of the water. That mark was thrown down at the 2018 Winter Nationals in Greensboro.
Falling just short was runner-up Martin Binedell, who represented the 2nd swimmer under the 2-minute mark tonight with a silver medal-garnering effort of 1:59.13. Alessio Ferreri rounded out the top 3 in 2:04.46.
Reid’s outing now ranks the South African 11th in the world.
Women’s 50m Fly – Final
- GOLD – Erin Gallagher, 26.30
- SILVER – Tayla Lovemore, 26.63
- BRONZE – Hanna McLean-Leonard, 27.42
20-year-old Erin Gallagher doubled up on her 100m free World Championships-qualifying gold from last night with another win in the 50m fly tonight. Clocking 27.21 this morning to claim the 2nd seed, Gallagher dropped the hammer with a big-time 26.30 tonight to top the podium. Her time checks-in as a new South African National Record in the process.
Runner-up was Tayla Lovemore, who actually was already under 27 this morning with her top-seeded 26.71. Lovemore was still super quick this evening, clocking 26.63, while Hanna McLean-Leonard notched 27.42 for bronze.
Men’s 50m Fly – Final
Exacting revenge after not qualifying in the men’s 100m free last night, 23-year-old World Championships finalist Ryan Coetzee did damage tonight in the men’s 50m fly. Hitting the wall first in the morning with a top-seeded 24.07, Coetzee dipped under 24 to clock a big-time 23.80 to take gold ahead of Douglas Erasmus and Brad Tandy.
Erasmus took solver in 24.2, while Tandy earned bronze in 24.51.
Coetzee’s personal best in this event is represented by the 23.45 he established in 2018 at a World Cup stop, but tonight’s outing is among his list of top 10 times in his career.