Van der Burgh leads the charge in Durban
The battle for fast times has begun as South Africa's youth and elite swimmers kicked off the 2017 SA National Aquatic Championships at the Kings Park Swimming Pool in Durban on Monday.
This year’s event doubles as the official 17th Fina World Championships and 6th Fina Junior World Championships Trials, which are due to take place in Hungary from 14-30 July and the USA from 23-28 August, respectively.
Olympian Cameron van der Burgh did not disappoint the Durban crowd as he swam to a Fina World Championship qualification time of 1:00.07 in the 100m breaststroke semifinals to take the lead in Tuesday evening’s final, while Michael Houlie (16), Daniel Swanepoel (18), Bryce Skea (17), Duncan Rudolph (17) and Bailey Musgrave (18) all dipped under the Fina Junior qualification time of 1:03.74.
The gold in the 400m freestyle went to Matthew Meyer in 3:49.55 ahead of Brent Szurdoki in 3:51.21 but the real winner was 18-year-old Jarryd Baxter, who claimed the bronze in a Fina Junior World Championships qualification time of 3:51.85.
Rebecca Meder (14), Gabi Grobler (17) and Christina Mundell (15) penciled their names on the 6th Fina Junior World Swimming Championships qualification list as they finished the 200m individual medley semifinals with the top three spots, clocking 2:17.80, 2:20.17 and 2:20.51, respectively. The final of the event will take place on Tuesday.
In the 100m butterfly semifinal, 14-year-old Dune Coetzee finished in second place with a Fina Junior World Championships qualification time of 1:01.67 to the required 1:01.90, while Seychelles’ Felicity Passon was first in 1:00.82. The final of the event will be held on Tuesday.
The ladies continued to dominate the semifinals as Erin Gallagher (18) also raced to a Fina Junior World Championships qualification time of 26.14 in the 50m freestyle, to the required 26.47.
Douglas Erasmus was quick off the block in the 50m butterfly semifinal, finishing first in 24.16, ahead of Reynard Wessels in 24.28 and Zane Waddell in 24.29.
In the multi-disability section, Aaron Putz won the gold in the 100m backstroke (S14-S15) in a time of 1:14.64, followed by Raymond de Freitas in 1:16.27 and Valentino Vergotine in 1:21.33, while Jean Pretorius brought home the gold in the S1-S13 category in 1:10.75 ahead of Franco Smit in 1:11.67 and Dave Williams in 1:27.45.
On the ladies side, the 100m backstroke (S14-S15) gold went to Christelle Kriel in 1:18.94, while Shannon Martins won the S1-S13 event in 1:31.24.
The day 2 heats will start at 10am CAT (SA, GMT+2) while the finals will begin at 6pm.
The staging of this event has been made possible through the support provided by Swimming SA partners, Sport and Recreation South Africa, Sascoc, National Lotteries Commission, Arena and Rand Water.
Qualifying Times following Day 01 – 17th FINA World Championships:
• Cameron van der Burgh – 100m breaststroke (SF) – 1:00.07
Qualifying Times following Day 01 – 6th FINA Junior World Swimming Championships:
• Dune Coetzee – 100m butterfly (SF) – 1:01.67
• Jarryd Baxter – 400m freestyle – 3:51.85
• Rebecca Meder – 200m individual medley (SF) – 2:17.80
• Gabi Grobler – 200m individual medley (SF) – 2:20.17
• Christina Mundell – 200m individual medley (SF) – 2:20.51
• Michael Houlie – 100m breaststroke (SF) – 1:02.55
• Daniel Swanepoel – 100m breaststroke (SF) -1:02.80
• Bryce Skea– 100m breaststroke (SF) -1:02.88
• Duncan Rudolph– 100m breaststroke (SF) -1:03.36
• Bailey Musgrave– 100m breaststroke (SF) -1:03.56
• Erin Gallagher – 50m freestyle (SF) – 24.16