SA swimming season off to a successful start in Mpumalanga

Rebecca Meder and Luca Holtzhausen claimed three more titles each as the first SA Swimming Grand Prix of the year came to an end in Mpumalanga on Saturday. Back... Read more
SA swimming season off to a successful start in Mpumalanga

Rebecca Meder and Luca Holtzhausen claimed three more titles each as the first SA Swimming Grand Prix of the year came to an end in Mpumalanga on Saturday.

Back in action after an impressive performance at the recent World Short Course Championships in Melbourne, Meder was in a class of her own as she comfortably claimed victory in the 100m butterfly (1:02.79), the 100m breaststroke (1:12.13) and the 200m individual medley (2:17.11) – the latter by over 18 seconds from her closest challenger.

“The whole thing is training and racing on tired bodies so to start Nelspruit like this – this is what I thrive on, this is what I’m good at, so to go from racing and training overseas into more racing is the gameplan for 2023,” said Meder.

“2023 is a really big year for racing – there’s world champs, world cups, African Games in Ghana. It’s a year full of racing, what an awesome year – I love racing.”

Holtzhausen, who notched up three titles on the opening day, claimed victory in the 100m breaststroke on Saturday in 1:06.84, as well as cruising to victory in the 100m freestyle in 52.99 and the 200m individual medley.

“I’ve had a really good experience with everyone from around the country coming here to Nelspruit. I’ve really enjoyed the training vibes and the environment that I was in while training here,” said the KZN swimmer.

“I’ve also really enjoyed the racing and it was great to get some good times in for the new year and I’m happy to take this further into the new year and hopefully progress with some better swimming,” added Holtzhausen, who is hoping to qualify for the World Championships later in the year.

Jarden Eaton took the win in the 100m butterfly in 56.21 to add to the 50m title he won on Friday, while here was also another title for 15-year-old Jessica Thompson who had an equally impressive opening day where she powered to victory in three races. She won the 100m backstroke on Saturday in 1:05.55.

“I was definitely not expecting the results that I got. I just came here looking to race, have a good time, feeling the water, enjoying everyone’s company and just having fun,” said a thrilled Thompson. “I’ve realised with my racing that if I have fun, the results come so I was just focusing on having good racing time.

“I’m so excited for the year ahead. I’ve got a solid four-month block where I’m going to be pushing my body to the extreme, looking to senior nationals and what I can do there and then hopefully just from there getting better and stronger and working on my mental side so I can become one of the high-performing athletes that SA has to offer,” added Thompson.

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Bryce Loom took the win in the men’s 100m backstroke in 1:01.73 while Hannah Robertson claimed the women’s 100m freestyle title in 59.19.

The next SA Swimming Grand Prix will take place at Kings Park Swimming Pool in Durban from 3-5 March 2023.

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