DURBAN – The ladies were in the spotlight during the fourth day of the KZN Aquatics Premier Championships.
A total of 10 Commonwealth Games qualification times were posted at the Kings Park Aquatics Centre on Tuesday night.
Leading from start to finish, 18-year-old Nathania van Niekerk bagged her first Commonwealth Games qualification time in the 200m backstroke, touching the wall in a golden 2:14.75, to the 2:16.13 requirement, while the silver and bronze medals went to Samantha Randle in 2:16.50 and Kiara Noades in 2:20.75.
“I am very happy with my qualification time. To be able to qualify in the 200m backstroke, which has always been my main event, is really satisfying.
“My time in the Olympic Trials was much faster than this but I have only been training backstroke again for 8 months and to be able to get down under a qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games is really exciting and putting all my effort back into it, I am sure I will be able to get to that time again in the near future” said Van Niekerk.
The ladies continued to dominate the pool as Erin Gallagher posted her third Commonwealth Games qualification time and Emma Chelius her second in the 100m freestyle. Gallagher sped to the finish line in a new KZN Record time of 54.93, beating her own 2015 record of 55.61, while Chelius claimed the silver in 56.53. The required Commonwealth time was 56.82.
Tatjana Schoenmaker and Kaylene Corbett raced to their second Commonwealth Games qualification times in the 100m breaststroke in 1:07.89 and 1:09.57, respectively, while the bronze went to Hanim Abrahams in 1:10.73.
The skill and talent of Kate Beavon (17) and Kristin Bellingan (19) was on display in the 800m freestyle as they added their names to the list of Commonwealth Games qualification times. Beavon finishing the race in 8:49.16 and Bellingan a close second in 8:49.51, the bronze medal went to Abi Meder in 9:01.52.
Three Commonwealth Games qualification times were added to the list in the 100m butterfly final with Chad le Clos coming out tops in 52.43, followed by Ryan Coetzee in 52.92 and Daniel Ronaldson in 53.71, all dipping under the required 54.12.
Cameron van der Burgh was in record-breaking form in the 50m breaststroke, clocking a new KZN Record time of 27.28, to Brad Tandy’s 28.00 from earlier in the year. Michael Houlie claimed the silver in 28.54 and Jared Pike the bronze in 28.74.
The KZN Aquatics Premier Championships and Commonwealth Games Trials will continue on Wednesday.
The final Commonwealth Games team will be selected and announced by SASCOC in accordance with the SASCOC Selection Policy.
Commonwealth Games qualifying times on Tuesday:
Calvyn Justus – 100m backstroke (55.57)
Calvyn Justus – 100m freestyle (50.35)
Ayrton Sweeney – 200m breaststroke (2:11.64)
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)
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)
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)
Ayrton Sweeney – 400m individual medley (4:16.53)
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)
Daniel Ronaldson – 100m butterfly (53.71)
Kate Beavon – 800m freestyle (8:49.16)
Kristin Bellingan – 800m freestyle (8:49.51)
African News Agency (ANA)