Team SA Finishes World Aquatics Championships in 25th Place

Team SA return from the World Aquatics Championships in Doha without a medal among the women’s swimmers, setting a bar for expectations as the nation’s elite athletes fine-tune their Olympic preparation programmes to peak at the right time. Photo: Anton Geyser/SA Sports Images

Lara van Niekerk came nail-bitingly close to adding to the South African medal tally at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha on Sunday night, 18 February, 2024.

Van Niekerk claimed the 50m breaststroke bronze at the 2022 World Championships in Budapest in 29.90 seconds, but at last year’s event in Fukuoka, also finished just off the podium in fourth place, in the race in which Lithuania’s Rūta Meilutytė set the current world record.

The 50m breaststroke is not on the Olympic programme, so Van Niekerk will be focusing on the longer events in the build-up to the Paris Games.

Earlier in the day, the women’s 4x100m medley relay team of Milla Drakopoulos, Van Niekerk, Erin Gallagher and Emma Chelius finished sixth in their morning heat in 4:03.54, missing out on progressing to the evening final.

The World Aquatics Championships came to an end on Sunday night with men’s team-mate Pieter Coetzé’s bronze medal placing South Africa in joint 25th place on the swimming medal table.


Photo Caption: Team SA return from the World Aquatics Championships in Doha without a medal among the women’s swimmers, setting a bar for expectations as the nation’s elite athletes fine-tune their Olympic preparation programmes to peak at the right time. Photo: Anton Geyser/SA Sports Images

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