The provisional South African squad for next year’s Commonwealth Games continued to expand rapidly on Tuesday, with another five swimmers achieving the qualifying standards at the national aquatics trials in Durban.
The country’s top women shone once again, while Chad le Clos built on his consistent trials campaign, as the list of qualifiers grew to 25 individuals after four days of competition. Teenagers Nathania van Niekerk, who won the 200m backstroke final in 2:14.75, as well as Kate Beavon (8:49.16) and Kristin Bellingan (8:49.51), who earned gold and silver in the 800m freestyle, all achieved the required marks in their respective events.
Le Clos, meanwhile, spearheaded another impressive charge in the men’s 100m butterfly final, touching the wall in 52.43, with Ryan Coetzee (52.92) and Daniel Ronaldson (53.71) following him under the Games standard.
With Le Clos adding a fourth event to his potential programme for the multi-sport showpiece, as he looked to carry the SA team in Gold Coast in April, a quartet of women were also able to add further events to their existing schedules.
Erin Gallagher (54.93) and Emma Chelius (56.53) did what was required in the women’s 100m freestyle final, while Tatjana Schoenmaker (1:07.89) and Kaylene Corbett (1:09.57) dipped under the Games mark in the 100m breaststroke. Local swimmers were left with just two days of competition remaining to meet the requested standards in their disciplines.