Woman-Less South African Swimming Roster In Rio Now Boasts Six For Tokyo

The nation of South Africa has revealed its swimming roster for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, postponed from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. A big change from Rio is the fact that 5 years ago South Africa had zero female representation in the pool, whereas this time around there will be six women wearing the national cap.

RSA record holder and 2019 World Championships 200m breaststroke silver medalist Tatjana Schoenmaker heads up the women’s roster, taking on the 100m breaststroke in addition to this longer event. She’ll be joined by fellow breaststoker Kaylene Corbet, along with freestyle sprinter Emma Chelius. Chelius took over fellow-Olympian Erin Gallagher‘s 50m freestyle national record of 24.72 this past April.

Mariella Venter and Aimee Canny have also been named as members of the women’s medley relay. As such, all six women are rookies for these 2020 Olympic Games.

On the men’s side, 2012 Olympic champion Chad Le Clos is among the Tokyo-bound athletes, along with sprinting mainstay Brad Tandy and breaststroking ace Michael Houlie.

Three promising young guns are also members of the men’s roster in 16-year-old Pieter Coetze17-year-old Ethan Du Preez and 17-year-old Matthew Sates.

Backstroker Coetze led off the medley relay at the National Championships in April, producing a huge lifetime best of 53.82 and qualifying for Toyo in the process. Du Preez also impressed en route to qualification, clocking a near-personal best of 1:56.44. The teen owns a PB of 1:56.16 earlier this year.

Finally, for Sates, the University of Georgia-bound teen owns career-quickest efforts of 51.83 in the 100m fly and 1:57.60 in the 200m IM.

The highest men’s finisher in Rio was Le Clos, who reaped two silver medals, one in the 200m free and one in the 100m fly. Now-retired Cameron Van Der Burgh also medaled, taking silver in the 100m breaststroke behind Great Britain’s Adam Peaty.


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3 years ago

What happened to Calvyn Justus? He’s kinda fallen off the map in the last couple years

Dan Gains
Reply to  PVSFree
3 years ago

Too busy being a YouTuber and making NFTs!

Reply to  Dan Gains
3 years ago

Cody Miller esque

Nick F
3 years ago

How is Tandy a part of the team? He’s barely swum under 23.0 the last year and a bit?
Why isn’t Christopher Reid a part of the team too?

Reply to  Nick F
3 years ago

Chris Reid is an amazing man

Reply to  Nick F
3 years ago

for that matter, why can’t Ryan Coetzee be on the roster? It all feels random.

Last edited 3 years ago by Nicole
Nick F
Reply to  Nicole
3 years ago

Hadn’t even thought about Coetzee. Only thing I can imagine is because Sates and Chad both qualified in the 100fly that he wouldn’t be included. Strange that someone would be allowed to qualify when they haven’t performed in any way in several years. A retired Zane Waddell should be included and swim the 100 free.

Eric the Eel > Michael Phelps
Reply to  Nicole
3 years ago

Coetzee sinked at the SA trials 54. on the 100 fly , oof..

Reply to  Nick F
3 years ago

I mean he’s swam a 21.9 and a 22.0 at separate meets within the qualifying period.

He also was going 22 mid to high at all in season meets pre-Rio and made the final so I wouldn’t be so quick to judge.

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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