South Africa’s next generation of aquatics talent is currently on display in Polokwane with Limpopo hosting the national schools swimming championships this week.
The event, organised by Sport and Recreation South Africa, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education and Swimming South Africa, is aimed at promoting school sport among learners and addressing the strategic objectives of the National Development Plan.
Limpopo’s Ivan Beukes began the competition with a gold medal in the 100-metre backstroke (16-17) in a fast 1min 00.51sec and a silver medal in the 200m freestyle, clocking 2:00.57 behind Jan Moll who sped to a gold in 1:58.53.
Gauteng’s Dieu van Jaarsveld also claimed two medals on the opening night with a gold in the 200m freestyle (11-12) in 2:23.20 followed by Lise Coetzee in 2:27.70 and Lisbe Booyse in 2:29.44, while in the 100m backstroke, it was silver for Van Jaarsveld in 1:16.01 ahead of Ashley Ebing in 1:16.13 and behind Tanna Harrod in 1:15.08.
In the highly competitive 200m freestyle races, the 11-12 age group category gold went to Gauteng’s Kieran Grant in 2:22.81 while silver and bronze went to Enzi Nogueira in 2:24.85 and Regardt Grobler in 2:25.76 respectively, while the 13 age group title was claimed by KZN’s Ozzy Aromin in 2:16.53 ahead of Ayden Jordaan in 2:23.34 and Kuhlekonke Mkhize in 2:28.97.
The 14-15 200m freestyle gold went to Gauteng’s Ethan Spieker in 1:59.00, followed by Robbie Drummond in 2:08.24 and Ian Brijlal in 2:08.67. The ladies’ gold went to KZN’s Tori Oliver in 2:13.75 ahead of Idele du Toit in 2:14.28 and Stephanie Houtman in 2:17.26.
Free State’s Chloe le Roux walked away with the top spot in the 200m freestyle 13 age group category race in 2:16.79 to Courtney Steyn’s 2:19.04 and Hannah Cromhout’s 2:25.60, while Gauteng’s Janie Coetzer(16) won her respective event in 2:11.98 ahead of Kristen Straszacker in 2:13.16 and Merelda Terblanche in 2:13.76.
In the 50m breaststroke (11-12) Gauteng’s Benke Grobler and Western Cape’s Rafeeq Isaac shared the gold medal in 37.56, while the bronze went to Gustav Bond in 38.94.
In the remaining 50m breaststroke events, the gold medals were scooped up by KZN’s Ozzy Aromin (13) in 34.69, Free State’s Luan de Waal (15) in 31.51, Gauteng’s Michael Deans (16) in 30.28, while the ladies’ first places went to Western Cape’s Leah Christie (12) in 37.01, Gauteng’s Caitlin de Lange (13) in 35.19, North West’s Bianca Opperman (15) in 35.63 and KZN’s Emma Huxtable (16) in 35.28.
Gauteng’s Willem Roos (12), North West’s Pieter Coetze (13) and Mpumalanga’s Giano dos Santos (15) bagged the gold medals in their respective 100m backstroke events in 1:14.24, 1:07.49 and 1:02.68, while the victorious ladies were Free State’s Guilma Lausberg (13), Eastern Cape’s Alexia Velde (14) and Chloe Velde (16) in 1:11.44, 1:10.52 and 1:08.92, respectively.
In the multi-disability section it was Gauteng Province which led the charge in the 200m individual medley with the gold medals going to Thulane Mabuza (SM10) in 2:50.23 and Pierre Dellieu (SM15) in 2:29.27, while the 50m backstroke title went to David McKlopper (S2) in 1:37.05 and Khabisi Njobe (S15) in 41.34 as well as Karien Oberholzer (15) in 45.92.
In the remaining 50m backstroke races, Mpumalanga’s Shane le Roux (13) won the S14-15 category in 53.69; Limpopo’s Nathan Sruwig (11) was victorious in the S6 in 1:28.28, while on the ladies side, KZN’s Simone Mare (16) won her respective S9 event in 48.63.