Dune Coetzee opened her campaign in style with victory in the women’s 400m freestyle at the South African Short-Course Swimming Championships, with an eye-catching swim from Tatjana Schoenmaker in an unfamiliar discipline for her.
he Championships are taking place at the Seals Swim Centre in Pietermaritzburg this weekend.
There was plenty of young talent to showcase their form and top honours of the day in the women’s category went to 18-year-old Coetzee, who beat Schoenmaker to the gold medal in the 400m freestyle, touching the wall in 4:07.95 to Schoenmaker’s 4:09.33, with the bronze medal in the event going to Aimme Canny in 4:09.90.
‘It was a tough race, I tried to save my legs a little bit in the first half and then just go on the last 100m and I think that definitely worked.
‘I’m very excited that this is my first races back in SA and I’m here to enjoy what I am doing and to see where I am at with my training,’ said Coetzee.
Matthew Sates was over the moon with his Fina Qualification Time of 3:43.55, when he scooped the gold medal in his respective 400m freestyle race ahead of Dante Nortje in 3:47.97 and Ayrton Sweeney in 3:50.30.
’I’m just trying to race again, and get the feel of what it is like to compete again. You go a lot faster when you are concentrating on the race and I am very happy with this win,’ said Sates.
The National Short-Course Swimming Championships will continue on Sunday.