Lara van Niekerk Progresses to 100m Breaststroke Final

South African swim sensation Lara van Niekerk has made an impressive return to the international stage, as she qualified for the 100m breaststroke final at the World Short Course Championships in Melbourne, Australia on Wednesday, 14 December 2022. Photo: Team SA (Twitter)

South African swim sensation Lara van Niekerk has made an impressive return to the international stage, as she qualified for the 100m breaststroke final at the World Short Course Championships in Melbourne, Australia on Wednesday, 14 December 2022.

The double Commonwealth Games gold medallist was the only South African to make it through to the morning heats, after she set a time of 1:03.93 to qualify second fastest for the for 100m breaststroke semi-finals.

The 19-year-old was four hundredths of a second slower to break the national and continental record that was set by Tatjana Schoenmaker.

In the semi-finals, van Niekerk was slower finishing joint second in 1:04.36 to qualify fifth fastest for the finals, which will take place on Thursday, 15 December 2022.

“It was quite cold, but I just tried to stay as warm as possible. I think this morning my stroke was a bit more relaxed. I think I rushed a bit tonight [in the semifinal] so tomorrow I’ll just try and have that long, relaxed stroke again. It’s going to take a 1:03 to medal,” said van Niekerk.

Elsewhere, her teammate Stephanie Houtman won the opening heat of the women’s 800m freestyle in 8:39.15 which saw her finishing 15th overall in the event. While, Cailtin de Lange was 28th in the 100m freestyle in 54.47.

 

 

Photo 1 Caption: South African swim sensation Lara van Niekerk has made an impressive return to the international stage, as she qualified for the 100m breaststroke final at the World Short Course Championships in Melbourne, Australia on Wednesday, 14 December 2022. Photo: Team SA (Twitter)

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