Sunday’s final day of the SA National Junior Age Group Championships in Durban demonstrated just how talented and skilled the next generation of swimming athletes is.
The 200m breaststroke saw Kian Keylock (12) win yet another gold medal in 2min 42.60sec, while Ryan Zasas (13), Matthew Randle (14), Ruan Breytenbach (15), Michael Deans (16) and Zimbabwe’s Liam O’Hara (17) all topped their respective age group races, clocking times of 2:37.30, 2:24.19, 2:19.94, 2:24.08 and 2:21.58.
Breytenbach was more than happy to add the 100m butterfly gold to his tally in 58.14sec, while Keylock managed the silver in 1:05.92 and concluded the competition with a bronze in the 200m backstroke in 2:25.80.
In the girls’ 200m breaststroke, Rebecca Meder (15) maintained her impeccable record with a gold medal in 2min 33.07sec as the remaining first positions went to Michaela dal Medico (12) in 2:48.03, Emma Kuhn (13) in 2:42.27, Paige Brombacher (14) in 2:34.60, Christin Mundell (16) in 2:29.60 and Tracy-Lee Young (17) in 2:39.17.
Matthew Sates (14) grabbed the gold in the 100m butterfly, touching the wall in 56.37sec ahead of Ethan du Preez in 56.47 and Luca Holtzhausen in 58.29, while Henju Duvenhage won the 16-year-old age group in 54.97 and Riccardo Di Domenico claimed the gold in the 17-18 category in 56.25.
Duvenhage also took home the gold in the 200m backstroke in 2:07.47, while Du Preez won the silver in 2:14.74.
There were plenty of fast times in the girls’ 100m butterfly with Amy Muller (12), Emma Christianson (13), Trinity Hearne (14), Kerryn Herbst (15), Alice van der Merwe (16) and Jeanri Buys (17) all scooping the gold medals in 1:08.34, 1:04.50, 1:04.04, 1:04.99, 1:04.25 and 1:04.37, respectively.
Christianson finished the age-group championships with a gold medal in the 200m backstroke in 2:20.94, while Herbst won the silver in 2:20.97 ahead of Meder in 2:21.49.
The remaining gold medalists in the 200m backstroke were Amber Olsen (12) in 2:34.53, Hannah Pearse (14) in 2:20.80, Megan Tully (16) in 2:19.45 and Abi Meder (17) in 2:20.98.