Commonwealth Games finalist Michael Houlie set a Youth Olympic Games qualifying time in the 100m breaststroke on Monday. Photo: @SwimmingWorld on Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – The first day of the SA National Aquatic Championships in Port Elizabeth got off to a slow start with most of the evening’s racing dedicated to semi-finals.

Three swimmers posted qualifying times for the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina later this year.

Mariella Venter won her 100m backstroke semi-final in 1:02.18 to book her place with Michael Houlie (men’s 100m breaststroke) and Riccardo di Domenico (50m butterfly) throwing their names in the hat.

Commonwealth Games finalists Kaylene Corbett and Emily Visagie coasted through to the 100m breaststroke final clocking times of 1:11.10 and 1:11.87 during the semis. 

Port Elizabeth local Corbett posted the fastest time of the day in the morning heats when she won her race in a time of 1:10.33.

Corbett and Visagie finished seventh and eighth respectively behind African record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker in the 200m final at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Kate Beavon will be tough to beat in the women’s 200m freestyle final on Tuesday evening clocking 2:03.74 with Abi Meder posting the second fastest time touching the wall in 2:05.80.

The women’s 50m butterfly should be a battle of the teenagers with 15-year-old Olivia Nel as the top-ranked swimmer from the semi-finals. 

She posted a time 28.42 with Jana Coetzee and Michaela de Villiers clocking 28.53 and 28.75 respectively. 

Jacques van Wyk produced a fast 55.52 seconds in the 100m backstroke semi-final and should fancy his chances of claiming the national title on Tuesday. 

Riccardo di Domenico set a Youth Olympic Games qualifying time in the 50m butterfly on Monday. Photo: St Benedict's College
Riccardo di Domenico set a Games qualifying time in the 50m butterfly on Monday. Photo: St Benedict's College

Martin Binedell and Jarryd Baxter, who featured at the Gold Coast Games posted times of 57.01 and 57.11 respectively.

The men’s 100m breaststroke is expected to be a tough affair with little separating the three fastest swimmers in the semi-finals. 

Alaric Basson clocked the two fastest times of the day racing to a 1:01.92 in the morning before calming a slight advantage in the evening’s semi-final with a 1:02.53.

Commonwealth Games 50m breaststroke finalist Houlie posted the second-fastest time in the semi-finals racing home in 1:02.57.

Brent Szurdoki, who featured at the 2017 FINA World Championships posted the fastest time in the men’s 200m freestyle semi-finals with a time of 1:52.31 with Baxter clocking 1:52.66.

Rio Olympian Doug Erasmus won his 50m butterfly semi-final with a time of 24.66.

IOL Sport

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