The 2018 SA National Aquatic Championships and Youth Olympics Trials got off to a flying start with three of the country’s best posting qualification times at the opening day of the competition at the Newton Park swimming pool in Port Elizabeth on Monday evening.
Western Cape’s Michael Houlie became the first swimmer to add his name to the Youth Olympics Qualification list, as he completed the 100m breaststroke semifinals in second place, clocking 1:02.57 to the 1:03.70 requirement.
In the 100m backstroke, Mariella Venter also penciled her name for the 3rd Youth Olympic Games in Argentina, winning her semifinal in 1:02.18, over a second ahead of the required 1:03.43, while Jacques van Wyk won his respective semifinal in 55.52 ahead of Martin Binedell in 57.01 and Jarryd Baxter in 58.37.
The 17-year-old Riccardo di Domenico posted a Youth Olympic qualification time in the semifinals of the 50m butterfly, touching the wall in 25.00, beating out the 25.07 requirement.
On the women’s side, Olivia Nel finished first in 28.42 ahead of Jana Coetzee in 28.53 and Michaela de Villiers in 28.75.
Kaylene Corbett won her 100m breaststroke semifinal in 1:11.10 with Emily Visagie and Paige Brombacher a close second and third in 1:11.87 and 1:12.01, respectively.
In the 200m freestyle semifinals, Kate Beavon finished top of the group with a time of 2:03.74 ahead of Abi Meder in 2:05.80 and Janie Coetzer in 2:06.64.
On the men’s side, Brent Szurdoki was fastest in 1:52.31, followed by Baxter in 1:52.66 and Josh Stegen in 1:53.81. The final for both races will take place on Tuesday.
In the multi-disability events, the 100m backstroke and 50m breaststroke gold medals went to Dylan Logan (S15) in 1:11.58 and 36.09 and Michaela Kretzen (S14) in 1:24.84 and 47.55, while in the 100m backstroke S1-13 category, the gold medals were claimed by Franco Smit (S13) in 1:09.11 and Katelyn Marais (S9) in 1:31.96.
The 50m breaststroke titles went to Johann van Heerden (SB9) in 31.67 and Shannon Martins (SB8) in 49.04.
The final teams for the Youth Olympic Games, the Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games and the African Youth Games will be selected by Sascoc, while Swimming SA will select the final team for the Senior Africa Swimming Championships. – African News Agency (ANA)