South Africa’s Dune Coetzee Punches Spot At World Juniors

2019 South African National Junior Age Group Swimming Championships

Serving as one of the qualification meets for the World Junior Championships, the South African National Junior Age Group Swimming Championships meet kicked off this week in Durban.

Youth athletes such as Rebecca Meder and Dune Coetzee will be vying for the opportunity to represent South Africa in Budapest, Hungary, although South Africa will not be paying their way. Per the selection criteria linked above, as has been the case in the past, this year’s World Junior Championships is a ‘self-funded tour’.

Nevertheless, below are the minimum time standards needed to be met to punch a ticket to Budapest:

Already through day 1, 7 distinct swimmers nailed qualifying times, with all coming in the 400m freestyle. 16-year-old Dune Coetzee led the charge with an impressive 400m freestyle effort of 4:15.02. For the teen, her outing fell just shy of her personal best mark of 4:14.53 nailed at the KZNA Premier Champs back in December of 2017.

Most recently, Coetzee finished a painstaking 4th place at the Youth Olympic Games in the 400m free event, clocking 4:15.27. Thus, her time clears that mark by .25, and also very comfortably dips under the 4:23.82 QT for Budapest.

Coetzee’s time now ranks her as the 6th fastest 18&U swimmer in the world in the event behind Li Bingjie (4:03.29) of China, Wang Jianjiahe (4:05.28) of China, Giulia Salin (4:12.99) of Italy, Chase Travis (4:13.36) of USA and Katja Fain (4:14.49) of Serbia.

Additional qualifiers from day 1 are as follows, all in the 400m free:

  • Hannah Robertson –  4:23.44
  • Rebecca Meder – 4:19.48
  • Ethan du Preez – 4:00.73
  • Matthew Sates – 4:03.27
  • Ruan Breytenbach – 4:01.37
  • Gavin Smith – 4:04.20

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