Gqeberha - Durban Surf’s Amica de Jager’s week at the DHL Lifesaving South Africa National Championships just keeps on getting better.
The 22-year-old De Jager, who won five individual golds, a team gold and an individual silver in the surf competition earlier this week, added more silverware in the Pool Championship taking place at Newton Park, and also got confirmation of selection for Team South Africa’s participation at the 2021 ILS Africa Championship in Alexandria, Egypt, from December 1-5.
De Jager has been the biggest star in a week of outstanding performances from many junior, senior and nipper athletes, and while the collective team golds in the surf went to the Cape’s Clifton club, there has been plenty to cheer for the locals in the surf and the pool.
The cheers got especially loud for Kings Beach’s Cooke family, with the brother and sister duo of Keegan and Chelsey Cooke confirmed in the national squad after stunning performances earlier in the week, when Keegan was also named the joint top male in the surf competition, along with Iron Man winner Wade Krieger of Durban Surf.
It has been a very good week for local athletes in the surf and pool, with Summerstrand dominating in the pool among the Nippers and the club’s best athletes smashing several national records.
The juniors and seniors will compete in the pool at Newton Park, Gqeberha, for the rest of the week, and Jessica Booth (Kings Beach) and Courtney Davidson (Summerstrand) were strong in finishing in second and third place respectively in the 200 LC Metre Obstacle.
Tuks’ Kendra du Toit won the event.
Other winners in the 200 LC Metres Obstacle were Clifton’s Cloe Gershuny (female Under-14), Tatum Botha (female 15-16 years) and Kristin Bellinghan (Marine) in the female seniors.
Durban Surf’s De Jager, who won five individual golds, a team gold and a silver medal in the surf competition, showcased her ability in the pool with a second-place finish to Bellinghan.
De Jager was a natural Team SA selection for the Africa Championship, as was 16-year-old KZN Umhlanga sensation Botha.
Willem Basson, of the Bellville Lifesaving Club, won gold in the Under-14 200 LC Metres Obstacle, with the boys 15-16 year-old race a championship highlight, with the top three of Aiden Bornman (Boksburg), Len-Douglas MacKay (Bloemfontein Sentraal) and Elijah Dredge (Tuks) all within the 2022 World Games qualifying times.
All three have already been included in the provisional Team SA squad for the World Games.
Kings Beach’s Cullen Biddulph won the boys 17-18 200 LC Metres Obstacle, while Tuks’ Robbie le Roux triumphed in the senior race in a World Games qualifying time.
Team SA squad for the 2021 ILS Africa Championships
Women: Amica de Jager, Celina Isaacs, Chelsey Cooke, Ellen Kleinschmidt, Nicolette Challenor, Sasha-Lee Corris, Tatum Botha, Holly Cleworth, Emma Slack
Men: Chevan Clarke, Liam Calvert, Nic Kingston, Brayden Bergset, Johan Lourens, Len-Douglas MacKay, Cullen Biddulph, Travis Misdorp, Keegan Cooke
Team SA 2022 World Games provisional squad
Men: Johan Lourens, Aiden Borman, Andre Mouton, Antonie Pieterse, Branden Willows, Elijah Dredge, Kian du Toit, Len-Douglas MacKay, Ockert van Schalkwyk, Rinus Hattingh, Robbie Le Roux, Travis Misdorp
Women: Tove van Zyl, Amica de Jager, Bianca Opperman, Guilma Lausberg, Kendra du Toit, Sasha-Lee Nordengen, Sulinke van den Berg.