Another eight Commonwealth Games qualifying times rolled in on day five of the KZN Aquatics Premier Championships in Durban on Wednesday.
Twenty-eight swimmers have already made the Commonwealth Games qualification list and with one more day of action to go, that number is sure to grow.
It was a fight to the finish in the 200-metre backstroke final, as Martin Binedell (swimming his speciality race) claimed his first Commonwealth Games qualification time in 1:59.59, just 0.06secs ahead of Commonwealth Youth Champs multi-medallist Jarryd Baxter, who was more than happy with the silver and his Commonwealth Games qualification time of 1:59.65. Luan Grobbelaar won the bronze in 2:04.35.
Binedell swims out of Pinetown with national coach Graham Hill and the 22-year-old was both happy and frustrated with this swim.
‘The final time wasn’t quite what I was hoping for but hey, it’s job done, I qualified and that was the goal,’ he told Team SA’s Mark Etheridge.
His personal best, swum at this year’s World Student Games in Taiwan, is 1:58:17.
‘It was always going to be tough considering the work I’ve been doing in the gym, pool and in the class room. Missing two months of varsity for World champs and Student Games did require a lot of catching up before my exams,’ said the B Com marketing student.
‘Also I’ve been trying something new with my gym so it was a challenging build-up to the champs. But it’s been a great year with my swimming taken a huge step in the right direction, especially after World Student Games. I’m excited for the new year and the grind that’s going to come with it.’
In the highly competitive 50m freestyle, fast times were on the cards as the top four in the final swam under the 23.26 Games requirement. Brad Tandy was victorious in 22.33sec ahead of Douglas Erasmus in 22.90, Ryan Coetzee in 23.18 and Armand Maritz in 23.25.
‘I’m happy with the swims the team did and especially the ladies showing up is awesome,’ said United States-based 2016 Olympian Tandy.
‘Waiting on the final team announcement so once that’s done I’ll be happy. Either way, taking a short break with family now and then back to work – the aim is that 50 free (to make finals) and then it’s anyone’s game,’ he told Team SA.
Even while a victorious Tandy took time to put his swims into perspective. ‘Honestly it was one of my worst performanced meets I’ve had in a while so I have some things to change up with training. But I know what I need to do to get on the podium.
‘This time in April in the same pool i was a second faster in the 50 breast and fly. Also, it’s hard at this point in my career not to compare to the top guys.
‘But I did the job for sure so no argument there. Change up training, focus more on my strength and speed rather than endurance based.’
Before that though he’s off to Mauritius for the first time to take a breather before the hard work resumes.
In the long distance 1500m freestyle, Brent Szurdoki won his second Commonwealth Games qualification time in 15:30.83, to the 15:44.74 requirement, while the silver went to Luke Erwee in 15:52.69 and the bronze to Chad Michau in 15:52.82.
Dune Coetzee (15) was quick off the block in the 200m butterfly, as the Tuks swimmer scooped the gold in a Commonwealth Games qualification time of 2:12.52 (her second of the championships) ahead of Jenna Pearse took the silver in 2:22.05 and Tori Oliver the bronze in 2:22.76,
Erin Gallagher added the 50m backstroke title to her name in 29.16, followed by Olivia Nel in 30.36 and Kiara Noades in 30.97. That gives Gallagher her fourth gold of the champs (three of them inside the Commonwealth Games standard).
There was no stopping Luca Holtzhausen (13), who broke yet another KZN record, this time in the 200m backstroke in 2:14.87, shedding just under a second from his own 2:15.43 record from earlier in the year, and concluded the evening with a gold in the 50m freestyle in 25.33.
The winners of the remaining 200m backstroke were Enrico Vorbeck (11) in 2:43.50 and Ian Brijlal (14) in 2:14.57, while the gold in the 50m freestyle went to Ricky Lottering (11) in 30.45 and Chad Mayer (15) in 24.60.
In the 50m backstroke age group finals, the top spots were claimed by Kayci Petzer (11) in 36.76, Tatum Silen in 32.64 and Kirsten de Goede in 30.50.
The Commonwealth Games Trials will conclude on Thursday with morning heats before finals start at 5pm. Friday sees only two senior events being swum, the women’s 1500m and men’s 800m which are not Commonwealth events.
The final Commonwealth Games team will be selected and announced by SASCOC in accordance with the SASCOC Selection Policy.
Picture of the Kings Park pool, venue for all the trials action, courtesy of Steve Haag/stevehaagsports.com
2018 Commonwealth Games qualifying times after five days
· Calvyn Justus – 100m backstroke (55.57)
· Calvyn Justus – 100m freestyle (50.35)
· Ayrton Sweeney – 200m breaststroke (2:11.64)
· Ayrton Sweeney – 400m individual medley (4:16.53)
· Erin Gallagher – 100m butterfly (58.93)
· Erin Gallagher – 50m freestyle (25.35)
· Erin Gallagher – 100m freestyle (54.93)
· Brent Szurdoki – 400m freestyle (3:53.24)
· Brent Szurdoki – 1500m freestyle (15.30.83)
· 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)
· Chad le Clos – 100m butterfly (52.43)
· Jarryd Baxter – 200m freestyle (1:50.79)
· Jarryd Baxter – 200m backstroke (1:59.65)
· Emma Chelius – 50m freestyle (25.66)
· Emma Chelius – 100m freestyle (56.53)
· Olivia Nel – 50m freestyle (26.06)
· Dune Coetzee – 200m freestyle (2:02.68)
· Dune Coetzee – 200m butterfly (2:12.52)
· Luan Grobbelaar – 400m individual medley (4:22.58)
· Tatjana Schoenmaker – 200m breaststroke (2:26.46)
· Tatjana Schoenmaker – 100m breaststroke (1:07.89
· Kaylene Corbett – 200m breaststroke (2:29.18)
· Kaylene Corbett – 100m breaststroke (1:09.57)
· 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)
· Nathania van Niekerk – 200m backstroke (2:14.75)
· Ryan Coetzee – 100m butterfly (52.92)
· Ryan Coetzee – 50m freestyle (22.33)
· Daniel Ronaldson – 100m butterfly (53.71)
· Kate Beavon – 800m freestyle (8:49.16)
· Kristin Bellingan – 800m freestyle (8:49.51)
· Martin Binedell – 200m backstroke (1:59.59)
· Douglas Erasmus – 50m freestyle (22.90)
· Brad Tandy – 50m freestyle (22.33)
· Armand Maritz – 50m freestyle (23.25)