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Women’s breaststroke trio rule the pool in Durban

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South Africa’s women breaststrokers powered their way into the spotlight at the KZN Aquatics Premier Championships in Durban on Monday night.

A stunning three more 2018 Commonwealth Games qualifying times came in one event! That was the 200-metre breaststroke final in the Kings Park Aquatics Centre pool.

Say three of the championships concluded, with another nine qualifying times,

Tatjana Schoenmaker, Kaylene Corbett and Emily Visagie all added their names to the Commonwealth Games qualification list in the 200m breaststroke final, clocking 2min 26.46sec, 2:29.18 and 2:29.46, respectively.

That brings to 24 the total of qualifying days after three days of action.

An excited Corbett told Team SA’s Mark Etheridge: ‘I’m sooooo excited about qualifying – it makes it exciting to know that more girls are qualifying and that the breaststroke is looking so good.

‘These past few months have been really hard for me as I was in matric [At Pearson High in Port Elizabeth] and couldn’t train as much as I could’ve or wanted to.

‘But luckily I made the time and that was all I wanted. With three girls qualifying it just proves that South African women’s swimming is on the rise and that makes us all super excited about the future.’

Meanwhile in other women’s action Marlies Ross cruised past Hanim Abrahams and Visagie to end first in the 200m Individual Medley with a Games qualification time of 2:17.33, while Abrahams finished with the silver in 2:19.41 and Visagie with bronze in 2:19.43.

Olympian Chad le Clos raced to his second and third Commonwealth Games qualification times in the 200m butterfly and 100m freestyle respectively, scooping the gold in a fast 1:58.01 and 49.74, with Eben Vorster close behind in a Commonwealth Games qualification time of 1:59.88 in the 200m butterfly.

Calvyn Justus, the first SA swimmer on the qualification list on Saturday’s first day of competition, and Leith Shankland dipped under the required 50.64 to qualify in the 100m freestyle in 50.35 and 50.51, respectively.

In the 50m backstroke, Jacques van Wyk came out victorious in 26.24 ahead of Henju Duvenhage in 26.91 and Jack Oliver in 26.96, while the glory in the 50m butterfly went to Erin Gallagher in a new KZN record of 26.68 to Emma Chelius’ 27.77 and Inge Weidemann’s 28.45.

Before Monday night, Gallagher had already nailed down two qualifying times in the 100 fly and 50 freestyle.

Meanwhile 13-year-old Luca Holtzhausen continued to dominate the age group events, adding the 50m backstroke and 100m freestyle to his tally, both in new KZN record times of 28.82 and 54.16, breaking his own records from earlier in the year.

Joshua Paton (11) and Jacob Armon (14) finished first in the other 50m backstroke races in 35.32 and 29.38, while the gold medals in the 100m freestyles went to Ricky Lottering (11) in 1:07.08 and Chad Mayer (15) in 54.11.

In the girls 200m breaststroke age group events, 15-year-old Tailyn Seyffert won her category in a new KZN record time of 2:34.99, breaking the 30-year-old record time of 2:36.88 which was held by L. Peacock. The remaining gold medalists were Rebecca Leach (11) in 3:04.96 and Morgan Ridderhof (13) in 2:52.17.

Seyffert also bagged the 200m individual medley gold in 2:21.95, while Leach (11) and Emma Kuhn (12)  took home the gold in the other age group category events in 2:53.73 and 2:30.96, respectively.

Kirsten de Goede (14) topped the medal podium in the 50m butterfly in a new KZN record time of 27.95, beating Erin Gallagher’s 2014 time of 28.11, while Chloe Graaff (11) and Catherine Eland (12) won their respective category races in 33.99 and 30.41.

The KZN Aquatics Premier Championships and Commonwealth Games Trials continued Tuesday morning with the heats and finals begin at 5pm.

Picture of qualifiers (left to right)  Schoenmaker, Corbett and Visagie courtesy of Steve Haag

CWG 2018 qualifying times following day three of the Championships
·         Calvyn Justus – 100m backstroke (55.57)
·         Calvyn Justus – 100m freestyle (50.35)
·         Ayrton Sweeney – 200m breaststroke (2:11.64)
·         Erin Gallagher – 100m butterfly (58.93)
·         Erin Gallagher – 50m freestyle (25.35)
·         Brent Szurdoki – 400m freestyle (3:53.24)
·         Cameron van der Burgh – 100m breaststroke (59.89)
·         Michael Houlie – 100m breaststroke (1:01.98)]
·         Mariella Venter – 100m backstroke (1:02.55)
·         Chad le Clos – 200m freestyle (1:48.28)
·         Chad le Clos – 200m butterfly (1:58.01)
·         Chad le Clos – 100m freestyle (49.74)
·         Jarryd Baxter – 200m freestyle (1:50.79)
·         Emma Chelius – 50m freestyle (25.66)
·         Olivia Nel – 50m freestyle (26.06)
·         Dune Coetzee – 200m freestyle (2:02.68)
·         Ayrton Sweeney – 400m individual medley (4:16.53)
·         Luan Grobbelaar – 400m individual medley (4:22.58)
·         Tatjana Schoenmaker – 200m breaststroke (2:26.46)
·         Kaylene Corbett – 200m breaststroke (2:29.18)
·         Emily Visagie – 200m breaststroke (2:29.46)
·         Eben Vorster – 200m butterfly (1:59.88)
·         Marlies Ross – 200m individual medley (2:17.33)
·         Leith Shankland – 100m freestyle (50.51)


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