Young Maritzburg swimmers take eight golds at SA junior Championships

2019-03-27 06:02
Maritzburg swimmer Matthew Sates has bolstered his status among junior swimmers in the country. PHOTO: wayne riddin

Maritzburg swimmer Matthew Sates has bolstered his status among junior swimmers in the country. PHOTO: wayne riddin

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MARITZBURG swimmers, led by Matthew Sates, featured prominently at the South African National Junior Age Group Championships held in Durban over the past week, winning eight gold medals.

Competing in the boys’ 15 years category, Matthew had a heavy schedule of racing but did extremely well, according to appreciative local coach Wayne Riddin.

“He opened his medal haul on Wednesday last week. Although taking the silver medal in the 400 m freestyle behind arch-rival Ethan du Preez (Cybersmart — Cape Town) who won in 4:00,73, Matthew improved on his fourth place last year to clock 4:03,27 and record his first Junior World Championship qualifying time, while Luca Holtzhausen (Seagulls) took third in 4:06,05,” Riddin said yesterday.

“The second day saw the St Charles pupil race to his first gold in the 50 m breaststroke with a 30,19 second dash to beat Luca again who touched in 30,35 sec. But Matthew had to settle for another silver medal in the 200 m freestyle where Luca clocked his first Junior World qualifying time in 1:53,02, with the Seals star finishing in 1:55,17.

The third day started an unbeaten run of victories to the final day. Matthew raced to three golds with a fast 52,72 sec for the 100 m freestyle to beat Ethan once again who clocked 53,42 sec.

The 100 m breaststroke turned out to be an easy victory in a very fast 1:04,78, before tackling the 50 m butterfly.

“Chasing the national age-group record of 25,24 sec, Matthew stopped the clocks on 25,45 sec.

The fourth day saw another hat-trick of victories where it was unfortunate that Luca fell ill.

Matthew started off with the 50 m freestyle where he won in 24,25 sec before he went on to achieve another Junior World QT in the 200 m individual medley with a 2:07,10. He completed the evening with a fast 27,91 sec in the 50 m backstroke.”

On the final day, Matthew was forced to drop the 200 m breaststroke, but in the 100 m butterfly he won in 55,60 sec to set a new SA age-group mark.

A newcomer to the city, Milla Drakopoulos (12), raced to two gold medals in the 100 m backstroke (1:11,50) and 200 m backstroke (2:34,40), two silver medals in the 100 m freestyle (1:03,18) and 50 m butterfly (31,80), and three bronze medals in the 200 m freestyle (2:20,86), 50 m freestyle (29,61) and 50 m backstroke (33,79).

Emma Kuhn (14) won the 50 m breaststroke in 34,38 sec and was runner-up in the 200 m individual medley (2:24,73) and 200 m backstroke (2:26,19).

“Jacob Armon (Seals) was also among the medals in the boys’ 16 years age group, with two silvers in the 50 m breaststroke (30,54) and 200 m freestyle (1:56,58), and two bronze medals in the 100 m backstroke (1:00,23) and 200 m individual medley (2:10,63). Georgie Butcher (Seals) completed the medallists training locally.

The St Anne’s pupil took the bronze medal in the girls’ 15 years 200 m breaststroke in 2:45,40.”


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