Schoenmaker Sole Addition To South African Olympic Roster On Day 3 Of Nationals


On the third day of racing at the 2021 South African National Championships, swimmers contested the 200 breaststroke, 200 freestyle, and 200 backstroke. The meet is serving as the country’s Olympic selection trials for Tokyo 2020. In order to earn automatic Olympic selection, a swimmer must place first or second in the final and hit a time under the nation’s pre-set Olympic time standard.

The headliner tonight was Tatjana Schoenmaker who posted a 2:20.17 200 breast which not only got well under the required 2:25.52 to qualify for Tokyo but was also fastest enough to make her the fastest woman in the world in the event this season and the 7th-fastest performer of all time.

Schoenmaker was followed in the event by Kaylene Corbett with a 2:26.59 which is just 0.02 over her entry time of 2:26.57 and a second over the Olympic cut of 2:25.52. Christin Mundell rounded out the top three with a 2:33.48.

On the men’s side of the 200 breaststroke, gold medalist Alaric Basson maintained his top-seeded position but was a bit off the Tokyo selection cut of 2:10.35 with his swim of 2:13.44. Artyn Sweeney got into the wall second but was also short of that 2:10.35 with a swim of 2:15.40. Matthew Randle rounded joined Basson and Sweeney on the podium with a 2:16.14.

In the men’s 200 freestyle, Matthew Sates was nearly within a second of the Olympic standard as he hit a 1:48.08 to trail the cut of 1:47.02 by just 1.06. Chad le Clos was right behind Sates, touching with a 1:48.48 and Henre Louw followed with a 1:51.80. Le Clos wasn’t quick enough here to earn individual qualification in the event but has already booked his ticket to Rio by swimming a 1:55.88 200 butterfly on day 2.

The women’s 200 freestyle victory was a little bit further off from Olympic selection as Aimee Canny swam a 2:00.19 for the win. That was around 3 seconds slower than the 1:57.28 that she needed to qualify. The 200 freestyle made for an exciting race to the touch, however, as Rebecca Meder and Dune Coetzee each vied for the gold medal, ultimately touching with a 2:00.29 for silver and 2:00.69 for bronze, respectively.

Samantha Randle was quick enough to win the women’s 200 backstroke tonight with a 2:17.49, out-touching Hannah Pearse‘s 2:17.88. Neither Randle nor Pearse was fastest enough though to add their names to the Tokyo squad as it would have taken a 2:10.39 in the event to qualify. Bernelee Doster rounded out the 200 backstroke podium with a swim of 2:19.00.

Pieter Coetzee was the only swimmer to get within a second of the Olympic cut in any event and not make the team on day 3 of the meet as he won the 200 backstroke final with a 1:58.33. That’s just 0.83 seconds slower than the 1:57.50 that he needed. Also fairly close to the cut in the 200 backstroke was silver medalist Martin Binedell who came in with a 1:59.44. Dylan Wright was bronze, trailing slightly in the event with a 2:04.29.

Swimmers will be back in action tomorrow for the 4th day of racing which will feature the 400 IM, 100 backstroke, and 400 freestyle.


  • Men’s 100 Fly (S14 & S15): Ethan Paulse (1:05.28)
  • Men’s 100 Fly (S1-S13): Kaleb van der Merwe (1:12.67)
  • Women’s 100 Fly (S1-S13): Alani Ferreira (1:20.08)
  • Men’s 50 Free (S14 & S15): Ethan Paulse (27.72)
  • Men’s 50 Free (S1-S13): Christian Sadie (29.03)
  • Women’s 50 Free (S14 & S15): Michaela Kretzen (31.92)
  • Women’s 50 Free (S1-S13): Kat Swanepoel (50.68)

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3 years ago

Is Corbett pre qualified after a final at 2019 worlds and the Fina A cut?