Olympic finalist Brad Tandy added his name to the list on Wednesday night, as South Africa’s provisional Commonwealth Games squad continued to swell on the penultimate day of action at the national swimming trials in Durban.
Tandy, who finished sixth in the sprint contest at last year’s Rio Games, stormed to a commanding victory in the 50m freestyle final in 22.33 seconds and dragged another three men under the 23.26 qualifying standard for the Gold Coast Games in April. Doug Erasmus grabbed the silver medal in in 22.90, with Ryan Coetzee securing bronze in 23.18 and Armand Maritz narrowly missing the podium in 23.25. Meanwhile, Martin Binedell snatched victory in a hard-fought men’s 200m backstroke final.
Binedell touched the wall in 1:59.59, edging out silver medallist Jarryd Baxter by 0.06, with both swimmers achieving the required Games standard. Distance specialist Brent Szurdoki, who won the 1 500m freestyle final in 15:30.83, and 15-year-old Dune Coetzee, who took the women’s 200m butterfly in 2:12.52, expanded their options for the Games after qualifying in other events earlier in the week.
With one day of competition remaining at the trials gala, a total of 28 swimmers had achieved a combined 42 qualifying marks for next season’s quadrennial showpiece.