Sat, 25 Jan 2020

Tough Day 1 heats in the pool for Team SA

21 Jul 2019, 16:13 GMT+10

Cape Town - The South African swimming team at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea endured a tough start to their campaign in Day 1's heats.

Not a single swimmer in action managed to threaten a semi-final spot - let alone book a final appearance.

In the first event, the women's 200m IM, Rebecca Meder finished 22nd-fastest in a time of 2:15.96, which was a full 8.94 seconds off the quickest time posted by Hungary's Katinka Hosszu of 2:07.02.

SA had no entrants in the following event, the men's 400m freestyle.

True to form, Swedish star Sarah Sjöström posted the fastest time in the women's 100m butterfly, touching the wall in a quick 56.45. South Africa's Erin Gallagher, who entered the event with the 12th-quickest time of 57.67, was well below her best, stopping the clock in the 23rd-best time of 59.21.

SA swimming star Clad le Clos scratched from the men's 50m butterfly, leaving compatriot Ryan Coetzee as the country's sole entrant. Unfortunately for Coetzee, he could only muster the 36th-best time of 24.13, well behind the joint-quickest time (22.84) posted by American Caeleb Dressel and Ukraine's Andrii Govolov.

In the fifth event of the opening day, 17-year-old up-and-coming star Dune Coetzee took to the starting blocks in the women's 400m freestyle. She finished in the 23rd-best time of 4:14.39 which wound up a full 12.55 seconds behind the quickest time posted by American superstar Katie Ledecky.

In the final individual heat of Day 1, the men's 100m breaststroke, South Africa's Michael Houlie posted the joint-29th quickest time of 1:01.18, a distant 3.59 behind Great Britain's Adam Peaty who stormed to an impressive 57.59.

Concluding the opening session's heats were the 4x100m freestyle relays.

South Africa's women's quartet of Erin Gallagher, Tayla Lovemore, Emma Chelius and Rebecca Meder set a new Africa record, but still finished stone last in the 18-country relay which was dominated by a stacked Australian foursome.

The SA men scratched from their relay.

Day 1's finals due to start on Sunday at 13:00 (SA time).

South African swimming team in Gwangju:


Alaric Basson, Ayrton Sweeney, Bradley Tandy, Chad le Clos, Christopher Reid, Eben Vorster, Michael Houlie, Ryan Coetzee, Zane Waddell


Dune Coetzee, Emma Chelius, Erin Gallagher, Kaylene Corbett, Mariella Venter, Nathania van Niekerk, Rebecca Meder, Tatjana Schoenmaker, Tayla Lovemore

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