Gallagher sprints to SA butterfly record

Erin Gallagher during day 1 of the SA National Aquatic Championships at Kings Park Swimming Pool on April 08, 2019 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Erin Gallagher during day 1 of the SA National Aquatic Championships at Kings Park Swimming Pool on April 08, 2019 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

She’s been in stunning form.

Erin Gallagher stormed to a national record, while four other swimmers added their names to the provisional SA team for the Fina World Championships in Gwangju in July.

Having achieved the required standard for the global championships in the 100m freestyle the night before, Gallagher built on her fine form by touching the wall in 26.30 seconds in the women’s 50m butterfly final on day two of the SA Aquatic Championships in Durban.

While the sprint race was not a World Championships event, she took 0.06 off the 11-year-old national mark held by Lize-Marie Retief.

Meanwhile, Commonwealth Games champion Tatjana Schoenmaker and Kaylene Corbett led the charge in the race for spots in the national squad for the global showpiece.

Schoenmaker won the women’s 200m breaststroke final in 2:24.44, with Corbett securing silver in 2:25.62, as both swimmers dipped under the qualifying standard of 2.25:91.

Nathania van Niekerk also added her name to the squad list in the 200m backstroke, taking gold in 2:11.37. Mariella Venter settled for second place in 2:12.57, a little more than a second outside the required mark of 2:11.53.

And Chris Reid stuck up his hand in the men’s 200m backstroke, stopping the clock at 1:57.11, while runner-up Martin Binedell touched in 1:59.13, less than a second shy of the 1:58.34 qualifying standard.

Four-time Olympic medallist Chad le Clos, who had qualified in the 200m butterfly on day one of the national trials, continued to struggle in the freestyle stroke.

Though he won gold in the 200m freestyle final in 1:48.55, he was more than a second outside the qualifying standard of 1:47.40 for the biennial global spectacle.

The national championships were set to reach the midway stage on Wednesday’s third day of competition at Kings Park Pool.

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