The 2021 SA National Aquatic Championships successfully concluded with a total of seven Olympic and 10 Paralympic Qualification times in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth).
Emma Chelius’ (pictured) outstanding performance in the morning heats of the 50m freestyle earned her a South African record and an Olympic Qualification time of 24.72, while in the finals, the 24-year-old finished in 25.00 to claim the gold medal ahead of Erin Gallagher in 25.51 and Inge Weidemann in 25.58.
The 2019 SA Record stood at 24.95 and was posted by Gallagher.
Kat Swanepoel (S2) ended the competition on a high note, with two additional SA Records and a new Paralympic Qualifier.
In the 50m backstroke, Swanepoel broke the 2008 record of 1:13.83 with a Paralympic Qualification time of 1:02.63, while in the 100m freestyle heats session, the 33 year old swam a fast 1:56.22 to the 1995 record time of 3:49.97.
The up and coming Matthew Moss (S9) took home two African records in the 50m backstroke and the 100m freestyle.
Moss raced to a new African record of 34.94 in the heats of the backstroke event but only managed 35.37 to win the gold in the finals, while in the freestyle heats, he posted a new African Record of 1:08.51 and claimed the silver in the finals in 1:09.35.
Christian Sadie (SB7) participated in a Timed Trial for the 100m breaststroke and celebrated a new African Record with a Paralympic Qualification time of 1:21.83.
Douglas Erasmus, Ryan Coetzee and Clayton Jimmie made up the 50m freestyle medal podium in 23.01, 23.07 and 23.22, while in the 200m individual medley, Matthew Sates, Andrew Ross and Ross Hartigan grabbed the gold, silver and bronze in 1:59.69, 2:04.83 and 2:05.09, respectively.
In the long distance 1500m freestyle, Leigh McMorran scooped the gold medal in 16:53.22, followed by Samantha Randle in 17:05.57 and Hannah Robertson in 17:13.10, while in the 200m individual medley, the honours went to Rebecca Meder in 2:13.66, Aimee Canny in 2:17.54 and Dakota Tucker in 2:17.83.
Meder, Canny, Gallagher and Tatjana Schoenmaker had a record breaking finish to the competition, winning the 4 x 100m medley relay with a new African Record of 4:01.92 to the previous mark of 4:03.62, while Sates, Alaric Basson, Ethan du Preez and Pieter Coetze won the gold in their respective 4 x 100m medley relay in 3:38.13.
Coetze’s final race also gave him his first Olympic Qualification time of 53.62 in the backstroke section of the relay.
Brent Szurdoki was victorious in the 800m freestyle, finishing in 8:08.11 ahead of Henre Louw in 8:14.97 and Roberto Gomes in 8:16.46.
FINAL OLYMPIC QUALIFYING TIMES
Chad le Clos – 200m butterfly – 1:55.88
Ethan du Preez – 200m butterfly – 1:56.44
Tatjana Schoenmaker – 200m breaststroke – 2:20.17
Tatjana Schoenmaker – 100m breaststroke – 1:05.74
Kaylene Corbett – 200m breaststroke – 2:25.18
Emma Chelius – 50m freestyle – 24.72 (heats)
Pieter Coetze – 100m backstroke – 53.62 (relay)
FINAL PARALYMPIC QUALIFYING TIMES
Christian Sadie (S7) – 100m backstroke – 1:15.01
Christian Sadie (S7) – 50m freestyle – 29.03
Christian Sadie (S7) – 50m butterfly – 30.91
Christian Sadie (SM7) – 200m individual medley – 2:35.70
Christian Sadie (SB7) – 100m breaststroke – 1:21.83
Kat Swanepoel (S2) – 100m backstroke – 2:14.78
Kat Swanepoel (S2) – 50m backstroke – 1:02.63
Alani Ferreira (SB13) – 100m breaststroke – 1:23.97
Cornelle Leach (SB12) – 100m breaststroke – 1:29.52
Hendrik van der Merwe (SB5) – 100m breaststroke – 1:45.38