Swimming South Africa Finalizes Olympic Team Of 12 Swimmers

Kaylene Corbett. Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

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Swimming South Africa has finalized its Olympic swim team for Tokyo with 12 total swimmers to represent the country at the Games in Japan. Six men and six women will be on the team for Tokyo as this is the most amount of women’s pool swimmers for the nation at the Olympics since 2008. In 2016, South Africa sent zero women’s swimmers in the pool, while the men won three silver medals.

Now in 2020, South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker is the top ranked swimmer in the world in the 200 breaststroke and seems to have the target on her back 29 days out from the start of swimming at the Olympics. Schoenmaker, who will turn 24 in July, is on her first Olympic team after winning the country’s first medal on the women’s side at the World Championships in 2019. She won silver in the 200 breast and has a chance to back that up with a gold medal. She will also swim the 4×100 medley relay with Mariella VenterErin Gallagher and Aimee Canny.

The last time Swimming South Africa had a women’s relay compete at the Games was in 2008 when their 4×100 free relay was 15th and their medley was 12th.

Schoenmaker will also be joined by breaststroker Kaylene Corbett, who made the 200 breast final at the 2019 Worlds, and is currently ranked 20th in the world among those qualified for Tokyo in that event.

2012 Olympic gold medalist Chad Le Clos will also be on his third Olympic team and will be looking to upgrade his silver medal in the 100 butterfly in Tokyo as well as reclaim his 2012 gold in the 200 butterfly after finishing fourth in Rio.

Bradley Tandy is on his second Olympic team after he was sixth in the 50 freestyle final five years ago in Rio. All other swimmers on the team will be making their Olympic debut.

Matthew Sates will be racing the 200 IM and 100 butterfly as the Georgia commit is ranked 13th in the world among Tokyo qualifiers in the 200 IM and 25th in the 100 fly. Sates is just 17-years-old and gives Swimming South Africa a nice second option in butterfly after Le Clos.

Pieter Coetze is ranked 18th in the 100 backstroke among Tokyo qualifiers while Ethan du Preez is 22nd in the 200 butterfly and Emma Chelius is 21st in the 50 free.

Swimming South Africa’s 2020 Olympic Team

  • Pieter Coetze
  • Ethan du Preez
  • Michael Houlie
  • Chad le Clos
  • Matthew Sates
  • Bradley Tandy
  • Aimee Canny
  • Emma Chelius
  • Kaylene Corbett
  • Erin Gallagher
  • Tatjana Schoenmaker
  • Mariella Venter

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    Alan. Ellis

    Good to see women making the team again and been some time since one has broken a world record I wish her the best