World Championships, Day One Men’s Finals: Matthew Sates Swims Third-Fastest 200IM In History

Matthew Sates of South Africa celebrates after winning the gold medal in the 200m Individual Medley Men Final with a new african record during the FINA Swimming Short Course World Championships at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre in Melbourne, Australia, December 13th, 2022. Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Matthew Sates: Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

A Special Thanks to Deep Blue Media for providing the images from this meet


Deep Blue Media

World Championships, Day One Men’s Finals: Matthew Sates Swims Third-Fastest 200IM In History

Matthew Sates swam the third-fastest 200IM in history and set an African record of 1:50.15 en-route to a commanding victory at the World Short-Course Championships in Melbourne.

The South African took over the lead from Shaine Casas at the 150 mark and came home to slice a 1.30sec chunk from his previous African record of 1:51.45 from the Berlin stop of the 2021 World Cup.

He becomes the second-fastest man over 200IM in the short-course pool behind Ryan Lochte whose WR of 1:49.63 has stood since 2012 with the American’s next swiftest time of 1:50.08 the second all-time.

It also saw him eclipse Shaine Casas‘ time of 1:50.37 from the Toronto stop of the World Cup in October.

Splits: 23.56/51.53/1:23.23/1:50.15

It was Sates’ first medal in senior elite competition after arriving on the global stage at the 2021 World Cup where he set WJRs in the 200 and 400 free and 200IM.

He was eighth in the short medley at the long-course worlds in Budapest in June before reaching three individual finals at the Commonwealth Games where fourth in the 400IM was his best result.

The 19-year-old was visibly moved and absorbed everything before telling the poolside interviewer:

“I don’t even know what to say.

“A shout-out to the people watching at home – my grandparents, my mum and everything are watching – so a shout-out to you guys.

“For all the support, for the coaches and the team that has helped me along the way.

“Also to my training partners back in Pietermaritzburg and with my club, Seals -so just thank you everyone.

“Thanks everyone in the stands for coming out tonight. I really can’t say anything more.”

Sates’ breaststroke leg of 31.70 propelled him from third to first going into the free and he said:

“It was much better tonight than it was this morning.  I will be swimming the 400 IM and as of now I really don’t have any expectations in that race.  We have been just training hard and just doing our thing.”

The teenager dropped out of college earlier this year and turned pro, the benefits of which are clear.

“It was a tough decision and of course there were definitely some doubts about the decision but I stuck with it and luckily it turned out well.

“For me college was an obligation for both school and swimming.  Going pro allowed me to focus on swimming for almost every minute of the day.  

“We really haven’t really done anything different in our training but I have been able to focus more time on recovery, especially significant following the many World Cup events that I have swum again this year.”

Carson Foster was second in 1:50.96 to match his silver at long-course worlds in Budapest with Canada’s Finlay Knox taking bronze in 1:51.04.

Daiya Seto, who won the title in Abu Dhabi last year and headed the prelims, was fifth in 1:51.39.

Results:

  1. Matthew Sates (RSA): 1:50.15
  2. Carson Foster (USA): 1:50.96
  3. Finlay Knox (CAN): 1:51.04
  4. Shaine Casas (USA): 1:51.31
  5. Daiya Seto (JPN): 1:51.39
  6. Alberto Razzetti (ITA): 1:51.73
  7. Clyde Lewis (AUS): 1:53.19
  8. So Ogata (JPN): 1:53.40

200IM men