Le Clos Takes 4th South African Title, 51.39 100 Fly


Women’s 400m IM – Final

16-year-old Rebecca Meder followed up her 200m freestyle gold with another piece of hardware here in Durban tonight. The KZBA swimmer put up a winning mark of 4:49.33 to stand atop the women’s 400m IM podium, dropping over 4 seconds from her morning swim of 4:53.77.

Meder’s time tonight checks-in as the 3rd fastest of her career, with 2 of those top times happening at the 2017 World Junior Championships. There she produced her lifetime best of 4:48.40 for 7th in the final.

For Ross, her 4:54.96 time tonight for silver represents her fastset since the Commonwealth Games, where the 21-year-old touched in 4:55.30 for 11th out of the heats. Ross earned 200m free bronze last night behind Meder.

Rounding out the top 3 tonight was Samantha Randle, who to get her hand on the wall in 4:54.97, just .01 behind Ross, for bronze.

Men’s 400m IM – Final

25-year-old veteran racer Ayrton Sweeney pulled out a World Championships qualifying mark tonight en route to gold in the men’s 400m IM. After establishing himself as the man to beat with his solid AM swim of 4:25.97, Sweeney threw down the 2nd fastest time of his career with a mark of 4:17.67.

That not only out performed the 4:17.79 he logged on the Gold Coast to finish a painstaking 4th at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, but it also dips under the 4:17.90 QT needed to punch a ticket to Gwangju.

Sweeney was clearly stoked with his swim, stating after the race, “Tonight was an absolute roller-coaster of a ride. Seeing my mother, my coach G, teammates and the whole of Kings Park shouting and waving me on GOT me that time!! Thank you all so much, I seriously couldn’t have done it without you.”

Silver tonight went to Dayne Odendaal in 4:25.83, while Ruan Ras collected bronze in 4:25.96, while Sweeney is now ranked 17th in the world this season.

Women’s 100m Fly – Final

  • GOLD – Erin Gallagher, 57.67
  • SILVER – Tayla Lovemore, 59.60
  • BRONZE – Dune Coetzee, 1:00.01

After already winning the women’s 100m free on day 1, followed by clinching the gold in the 50m fly last night in a new national standard of 26.30,  the Seagulls swimmer blasted a lifetime best of 57.67 in the women’s 100m fly to stand atop the podium yet again.

Splitting 26.56/31.11, Gallagher was one of only two women to notch sub-minute times in tonight’s final, followed by 24-year-old Tayla Lovemore‘s mark of 59.60.

For Gallagher, her personal best headed into this meet was the 58.93 logged at this same pool last December. Before that out, her only other sub-minute performances came at the 2018 Commonwealth Games where Gallagher notched 59.25 in heats followed by a 59.04 in the semi-final, a time that rendered her a painstaking 9th place.

Tonight’s 57.67 monster performance overtook Lize-Mari Retief’s time of 58.20, the South AFrican Record since all the way back to the 2008 Olympic Games.

Gallagher now ranks 7th in the world this season, and her time qualifies her for the 2019 World Championships.

2018-2019 LCM WOMEN 100 FLY

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Lovemore was slightly faster this morning, claiming the top seed in 59.35, while 16-year-old Coetzee’s 1:00.01 for bronze sliced over a second off of her previous personal best of 1:01.15.

Men’s 100m Fly – Final

South African Olympic icon Chad Le Clos wrangled up his 2nd FINA A cut of these championships by winning the men’s 100m fly tonight handily. Hitting the wall in 51.39, Le Clos beat out Ryan Coetzee, the 23-year-old who already notched a World Championships-qualifying time this morning with his new personal best mark of 51.85. That performance marked Coetzee’s first time ever under the 52-second threshold.

For Le Clos, the 26-year-old split 24.06/27.33 to take his 4th South African title, adding this to his 200m free, 200m fly and 100m free. The FINA A cut is 51.96, so Le Clos easily dipped under thaat mark tonight, but was the only one of the final. Coetzee logged a slower 52.13, while Eben Vorster took bronze in 53.89, a new personal best by almost a second for the former Pitt swimmer.

The 51.39 from Le Clos tonight now checks the star in as the 4th fastest performer in the world this season. He’d already been on the top 10 list with his other sub-52 of the season in 51.62 form the FFN Golden Tour Camille Muffat in Marseille.

2018-2019 LCM MEN 100 FLY

49.50 *WR
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Women’s 50m Breast – Final

Reigning African Continental Record holder Tatjana Schoenmaker followed up her 200m breast World Championships-qualifying time with a solid victory in this women’s 50m breaststroke sprint. Stopping the clock at 30.97, the 21-year-old represented the only racer under the 31-second mark, though she was followed by 2 Tuks teammates Lara Van Niekerk and Kaylene Corbett.

Van Niekerk earned silver in 31.47, while Corbett collected bronze in 31.47.

Schoenmaker finished 4th in this event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games where she notched the 30.82 African and national record.

Men’s 50m Breast – Final

  • GOLD – Michael Houlie, 26.91
  • SILVER – Alaric Basson, 28.33
  • BRONZE – Brenden Crawford, 28.43

In a one-man show, 18-year-old Michael Houlie fired off a quick sub-27 second 50m breast to take the gold, ultimately getting his hands on the wall in 26.91. That’s a notable personal best for the University of Tennessee athlete, whose previous lifetime fastest was represented by the 27.33 logged at last year’s Youth Olympic Games. That checked in as the fastest 50m breaststroke ever swum at a youth Olympic Games,although he would wind up with the gold in a slightly slower 27.51.

Houlie’s 26.91 effort tonight now ranks the Vol 3rd in the world, only behind Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli and Serbia’s Caba Siladi. His time is the 16th fastest performance in history.

2018-2019 LCM MEN 50 BREAST

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Women’s 50m Back – Final

  • GOLD – Olivia Nel, 29.36
  • SILVER – Nathania Van Niekerk, 29.52
  • BRONZE – Michaela De Villiers, 29.56

It was a very tight race in the women’s 50m backstroke, with Olivia Nel surging to the wall first in 29.36. That led the 200m backstroke World Championships qualifier here Nathania Van Niekerk by .16, while Michaela De Villiers clocked 29.56 for bronze.


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5 years ago

Chad is the prince, not the king.

5 years ago

How do these people afford to swim? Other than the stars in SA? Must be living in parents garage?

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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