Van Der Merwe Takes Surprise 100 Breast Gold, Becomes 5th Fastest Brit Ever

Retta Race
by Retta Race 0

July 07th, 2019 News


17-year-old Kayla Van Der Merwe of Great Britain upset a stacked 100m breaststroke field at the 2019 European Junior Championships, taking gold on the final night of competition.

Crushing a new lifetime best mark of 1:07.12, the Winchester Penguin got the job done to land atop the podium ahead of Russian duo Anastasia Makarova and Evgenia Chikunova. The pair took silver and bronze in times of 1:07.30 and 1:07.63, respectively, with the trio representing the only sub-1:08 competitors of the field.

Splitting 31.76/35.36, Van Der Merwe took it out fast and simply held on for dear life, with Makarova closing .03 faster than the Brit and Chikunova .35 faster on the backhalf. Chikuinova is the 14-year-old phenom who already won gold in the 200m breast event, but had clocked a 2:21.07 in semi-finals. Van Der Merwe was bronze in that 2breast.

Van Der Merwe’s semi-final time of 1:07.96 last night represented the Brit’s first time ever under the 1:08 barrier, with her outing surpassing the 1:08.04 British Age Record for 16-year-olds held by Olympian Siobhan-Marie O’Connor since 2012.

For Van Der Merwe, the Winchester athlete becomes the 5th fastest British female ever in the event with her time tonight, booting 200m breast National Record holder Jocelyn Ulyett to #6.

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor Bath Univ 95 Scottish National Open Championships Glasgow 1 01/07/16 1:06.34
Sophie Taylor London Aquat 96 Commonwealth Games 2014 Glasgow 1 28/07/14 1:06.35
Sarah Vasey Loughboro Un 96 British Swimming Championships 2017 Sheffield 1 23/04/17 1:06.78
Chloe Tutton Co Cardiff 96 Olympic Games 2016 Rio, Brazil 1 07/08/16 1:06.88
Jocelyn Ulyett Loughboro Un 95 British Swimming Championships 2017 Sheffield 1 23/04/17 1:07.24


In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

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.

Read More »