Van der Burgh Captures 100 Breast Title At South Africa Trials

Photo Courtesy: Anesh Debiky/Swimming South Africa

With Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh back in the water, the Commonwealth Games Qualifying times continued to tumble on the second day of the KZN Aquatics Premier Championships at the Kings Park Aquatics Centre in Durban tonight.

Van der Burgh turned up the tempo as he posted a Commonwealth Games qualifying time in the final of the 100m breaststroke in a golden 59.89 ahead of Michael Houlie, who, besides winning the silver, also dipped under the required 1:02.46, and added his name to the qualification list in 1:01.98. The bronze went to Brenden Crawford in 1:03.82.

Le Clos and Jarryd Baxter celebrated their Commonwealth Games qualification times in the 200m freestyle, finishing first and second in 1:48.28 and 1:50.79, respectively, while the bronze medal was claimed by Calvyn Justus in 1:51.55.

Le Clos was once again victorious in the 50m butterfly in 24.06, followed by Ryan Coetzee in 24.19 and Ralph Goveia in 24.54.

The phenomenal performances continued with Mariella Venter, who raced to the gold and a Commonwealth Games qualification time of 1:02.55 in the 100m backstroke, followed by Nathania van Niekerk in 1:02.79 and Naomi Ruele in 1:04.21.

Erin Gallagher had another fantastic day of swimming, bagging her second Commonwealth Games qualification, this time in the 50m freestyle, breaking her own 2015 KZN Record with a new time of 25.35. The silver and bronze went to Emma Chelius and Olivia Nel, both touching the wall in Commonwealth Games qualification times of 25.66 and 26.06, respectively.

In the 200m freestyle, 15 year old Dune Coetzee became the ninth swimmer of the night to add her name to the list of Commonwealth Games qualifiers when she finished in 2:02.68 ahead of Marlies Ross in 2:03.04 and Kristin Bellingan in 2:03.68.

Ayrton Sweeney and Luan Grobbelaar were over the moon as they confirmed their Commonwealth Games qualification times in the 400m individual medley, finishing in 4:16.53 and 4:22.58, to the required 4:26.93, while Neil Fair walked away with the bronze in 4:29.89.

In the age group events, there was no stopping Luca Holtzhausen (13) as he sped to three gold medals and three new KZN Records.

In the 100m breaststroke, Holtzhausen beat out the competition with a new KZN Record time of 1:08.88, breaking the 2013 time of 1:09.11, which was held by Gareth Kemp. The youngster followed that with a win in the 200m freestyle, clocking a new KZN Record of 1:59.63, to Kevin Bargate’s 2012 time of 2:00.42; and finished the evening off with a gold medal in the 50m butterfly with a new KZN Record of 27.09, beating his own time of 27.24 from earlier in the year.

The remaining 100m breaststroke winners were Connor Reinders (11) in 1:25.52 and Matthew Sates (14) in 1:08.10, while the 200m freestyle gold medals went to Ricky Lottering (11) in 2:25.14 and Gavin Smith (15) in 1:58.77. Lottering and Smith also grabbed the gold in the 50m butterfly in 32.18 and 26.25, respectively.

Jessica Carmody (10), Emma Christianson (12) and Tailyn Seyffert (15) won their respective 100m backstroke age group races in 1:19.64, 1:09.99 and 1:06.43, while the 50m freestyle gold medals were claimed by Kirsten Cottrell (11) in 30.72, Melanie Cooke (13) in 28.67 and Kirsten de Goede (14) in 27.14.

De Goede scooped her second gold of the night in the 200m freestyle in 2:08.06, with the other age group gold medals going to Milla Drakopoulos (11) in 2:31.62 and Lise Coetzee (12) in 2:14.60.

The KZN Aquatics Premier Championships and Commonwealth Games Trials will continue tomorrow with the heats starting at 09h00 while the finals will begin at17h00 daily.

Qualifying Times following Day 02 – Commonwealth Games:

  • Calvyn Justus – 100m backstroke (55.57)
  • Ayrton Sweeney – 200m breaststroke (2:11.64)
  • Ayrton Sweeney – 400m individual medley (4:16.53)
  • Erin Gallagher – 100m butterfly (58.93)
  • Erin Gallagher – 50m freestyle (25.35)
  • Brent Szurdoki – 400m freestyle (3:53.24)
  • Cameron van der Burgh – 100m breaststroke (59.89)
  • Michael Houlie – 100m breaststroke (1:01.98)]
  • Mariella Venter – 100m backstroke (1:02.55)
  • Chad le Clos – 200m freestyle (1:48.28)
  • Jarryd Baxter – 200m freestyle (1:50.79)
  • Emma Chelius – 50m freestyle (25.66)
  • Olivia Nel – 50m freestyle (26.06)
  • Dune Coetzee – 200m freestyle (2:02.68)
  • Luan Grobbelaar – 400m individual medley (4:22.58)

Press release courtesy of South Africa Swimming. 

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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