Rebecca Meder Swims 2:12.98 in 200 IM, Frightens 2009 RSA Record in Durban

2021 South Africa Grand Prix No. 4 – Durban

The fourth stop of the South Africa Grand Prix Series in Durban wrapped over the weekend, featuring a stacked event schedule for the second evening prelims/morning finals session. Highlighting the second day of competition was 18-year-old Rebecca Meder, who nearly hit her lifetime best in the 200 IM and flirted with the 2009 super-suit national record.

During the PM prelims, Meder hit 2:12.98 to lead the women’s 200 IM, which was 0.14s off her 2020 lifetime best of 2:12.84. Meder’s time this season is still 0.42s off the FINA Olympic A cut of 2:12.56, which aligns with South Africa’s selection criteria. Meder won the final the next morning at 2:15.43, with Dakota Tucker (2:18.75) and Marizel van Jaarsveld (2:20.64) rounding out the top three finishers. Meder’s swim in Durban also frightened Kathryn Meaklim‘s national record of 2:12.53 from the 2009 KwaZulu-Natal Championships. Meder also participated in a 100 back time trial, swimming 1:02.47.

Picking up two breaststroke wins on the second day of Durban finals was 23-year-old Tatjana Schoenmaker, taking top time in the 50 breast (30.74) and 200 breast (2:22.70). Schoenmaker was just 0.02s faster during her evening swims at 30.72. Placing second to Schoenmaker in the 50 breast was Lara van Niekerk, who swam 31.00/31.04. Filling in the runner-up spot to Schoenmaker in the 200 breast was Kaylene Corbett, clocking in at 2:25.50, which was 0.02s under the automatic Olympic qualification standard. At the 2021 South African Nationals, Corbett had swum faster at 2:25.18.

In the men’s 100 fly, 17-year-old Matt Sates put up a 51.85 during prelims. Earlier in the meet, Sates hit 51.83 in a time trial to hit the automatic Olympic qualifying cut of 51.96. Sates wound up scratching the final, giving Brandon Chapman the easy win at 54.67, touching 0.36s ahead of 17-year-old qualified Olympian Ethan du Preez (55.03).

Flipping over to the men’s 50 back, 17-year-old Pieter Coetze won the 50 back final at 25.53, just a tad off his evening prelims swim of 25.31. Coetze owns a season best of 25.02 from the 2021 South African Nationals, which ranks within the top 20 times in the world this season. Quadrupling to the 200 distance, Martin Binedell swam sub-2:00 in the preliminaries at 1:59.75, and won the AM final with a 2:02.59.

25-year-old Ryan Coetzee swam the 50 free three times in Durban, putting up two 22.55s and a 22.32. At the 2021 South African Nationals, Coetzee placed second at 23.07, six one-hundredths behind Douglas Erasmus (23.01). The FINA Olympic A cut rests at 22.01.

More Day 2 Highlights:

  • Taking top times in the 800 free events were 14-year-old Caitlin Herbst (10:04.78) and Brent Szurdoki (8:08.90).
  • Winning the women’s 50 fly event was Caitlin de Lange, touching in at 27.68.
  • Michael Houlie just missed the 59.93 automatic Olympic cut in the 100 breast, swimming 1:00.21/1:00.82.
  • The men’s 200 free final was a tight race, with Luca Holtzhausen taking the narrow win at 1:52.16 over Matthew Bosch‘s 1:52.44 and Henre Louw‘s 1:52.73. Louw had the fastest time during the evening prelims at 1:51.80.
  • National record-holder Emma Chelius swam a pair of 55s in the 100 free, hitting 55.76/55.59.
  • Winning the women’s 100 back final was Hannah Pearse at 1:05.24. During the morning prelims, Olivia Nel had the top time at 1:04.09.
  • Swimming two 2:11s in the women’s 200 fly was Dune Coetzee, hitting 2:11.30 in prelims and 2:11.82 in finals.
  • Winning the two 400 events on day two were Damian Mullen in the men’s 400 IM (4:28.29) and Leigh McMorran in the women’s 400 free (4:25.20). Hannah Robertson had the fastest time in prelims at 4:23.07.

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About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

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