Some of Team South Africa’s 2018 Commonwealth Games swimmers are getting in some last minute fine-tuning ahead of the Games in Gold Coast, Australia next month.
At least three of them saw action in the 400-metre freestyle events on Wednesday’s opening day of the SA National Junior Age Group Championships at the Kings Park Aquatics Centre in Durban.
Leading the way was Jarryd Baxter. Swimming the 17-18 age group, Baxter (18) bagged the gold in 3min 56.42sec, while silver went to Calvin Coetzee (17) in 4:02.06 and the bronze to Luke Erwee (17) in 4:02.13, with Abi Meder (17) taking home the gold for the girls in 4:22.33, followed by Michee van Rooyen (17) in 4:26.57 and Charlise Oberholzer (18) in 4:27.18.
Another swimmer going to the Gold Coast is Luan Grobbelaar who took silver in the 16-year-old event as he clocked 4:05.66 to end behind James Freeman in 3:58.
Ruan Breytenbach claimed the 15-year-old age group title with a time of 4:01.78, over 7secs ahead of Dylan Wright 4:08.11 and Righardt Muller in 4:08.20, while Dune Coetzee (also part of Team SA in Australia), Rebecca Meder and Tori Oliver making up the girls medal podium in 4:16.38, 4:19.15 and 4:30.69, respectively.
In the U12 category, Liam Coetzee (12) claimed the first gold medal in 4:37.08 ahead of Namibia’s Jose Canjulo in 4:39.03 and Pretoria’s Elijah Dredge in 4:42.75, while on the girls’ side it was Dieu Dene van Jaarsveld (12) who won the top spot in 4:47.21, followed by Mischa King in 4:47.79 and Lisbe Booyse in 4:50.26.
Leshen Pillay, Ryan Zasas and Joshua Hinckley made up the 13-age-group medal podium with times of 4:25.27, 4:27.15 and 4:31.39, while Hannah Robertson, Chloe le Roux and Lise Coetzee bagged the gold, silver and bronze medals in the ladies’ category with 4:28.45, 4:31.20 and 4:35.64, respectively.
In the 14 year-old age group category, Ethan du Preez clocked 4:07.77 to win the gold ahead of Zander Landman in 4:10.78 and Luca Holtzhausen in 4:11.14, while Sune Liebenberg won the ladies’ age group event in 4:29.13, followed by Kirsten de Goede 4:30.98 and Trinity Hearne in 4:34.73.
The SA National Junior Age Group Championships continued on Thursday with heats at 8.30am and the finals beginning at 5pm, daily.
Picture of Baxter in action at the selection trials in Durban, courtesy of Steve Haag/Gallo Images