A phenomenal start for Mzansi’s top aquatic talent as the final leg of the SSA Swimming Grand Prix got underway at the Kings Park Aquatics Centre in Durban on Saturday, 29 May 2021.
Breaststroke specialist Tatjana Schoenmaker was a force to be reckoned with in the 100m breaststroke final, winning the race in an Olympic Qualification time of 1:06.88 ahead of Lara van Niekerk in 1:07.73 and Kaylene Corbett in 1:08.11.
She previously set a new African record in April, to qualify for the Tokyo Games.
The gold medal in the 50m backstroke went to Olivia Nel in 29.04 to Michaela de Villiers’ silver time of 29.90 and Caitlin de Lange’s bronze time of 30.34, while the first place in the 100m butterfly was claimed by Duné Coetzee in a fast 59.67, ahead of Veronique Rossouw in 1:02.26 and Emma Christianson in 1:02.88.
Nel also bagged the silver medal in the 50m freestyle in 25.94, behind Emma Chelius in 25.20 and ahead of Rebecca Meder in 26.14, while in the 1500m freestyle, the gold medal went to Catherine van Rensburg in 17:10.32.
Christin Mundell, Hannah Robertson and Lise Coetzee topped the medal podium in the 200m freestyle, touching the wall in 2:04.56, 2:05.94 and 2:07.97, respectively, while Hannah Pearse won the 200m backstroke with a time of 2:16.62 to Samantha Randle’s 2:16.93 and Bernelee Doster’s 2:18.43.
SA’s Paralympian Alani Ferreira (SB13) posted a Paralympic Qualification time in the heats of the 100m breaststroke clocking 1:24.22.
Another African Record came from Christian Sadie (S7) in the 400m freestyle heats session in 5:21.59, while in the 50m butterfly, Sadie celebrated a well-deserved Paralympic Qualification time of 31.90 to the 32.90 requirement.
Kat Swanepoel (S2) broke two South African Records with a Paralympic Qualification time of 1:01.01 in the 50m backstroke and 49.30 in the 50m freestyle.
The Swimming Grand Prix Series concludes on Sunday, with the finals session starting at 10h00.
Olympic Qualifying Times following Day 2:
Tatjana Schoenmaker – 100m breaststroke – 1:06.88
Paralympic Qualifying Times following Day 2:
Cornelle Leach (SB12) – 100m breaststroke – 1:26.24 (heats)
Alani Ferreira (SB13) – 100m breaststroke – 1:24.22 (heats)
Kat Swanepoel (S2) – 50m backstroke – 1:01.01 (heats)
Photo 1 Caption: Breaststroke specialist Tatjana Schoenmaker won the 100m breaststroke final in an Olympic Qualification time of 1:06.88 at SSA Swimming Grand Prix at the Kings Park Aquatics Centre in Durban on Saturday, 29 May 2021. Photo: Tatjana Schoenmaker (Instagram)