The annual Prestige swimming championships took place from 5-9 July 2016 at the Kings Park swimming pool in Durban.
The best swimmers from various swimming clubs throughout South Africa participated in this swim meet including some of the top 10 ranked SSA female swimmers (10 & Under age group).
Nine-year-old Monica Botha (Seagulls swimming club) participated in 8 events in the 10 & Under age group, 2 events in the 12 & Under age group and 1 event in the 14 & Under age group.
Botha stood her ground in her home pool against the older swimmers and swam 5 level 2 qualifying times during the meet. She touched the wall in third place to earn the bronze medal in the Girls 10 & Under 100-meter backstroke event in a time of 1:27:13.
Botha swam Level 2 qualifying times in the following events:
Girls 10 & U 100 m backstroke @1:27:13
Girls 10 & U 200 m IM @ 3:09:02
Girls 10 & U 50 m Freestyle @ 34:24
Girls 12 & U 200 m Freestyle @ 2:49:09
Girls 14 & U 200 m Backstroke @ 3:12:84
Botha trains at a local gym in Amanzimtoti and is coached by her father, Jan Botha, an American swimming coaches association Level 2 qualified coach. In 2015, aged 8, she accumulated the most points during the 13 & Under KZN Junior championships to win the Victrix Ludorum trophy.
Monica will work towards level 2 qualifying times in the 100 butterfly and breaststroke events. She aims to achieve level 2 times in all events before her tenth birthday in March 2017.