Host of SA swimmers in Day 1 action in South Korea

Chad le Clos (Getty Images)
Chad le Clos (Getty Images)

Cape Town - A whole host of South Africans will take to the pool in the opening day's heats of the swimming section at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea on Sunday.

First up in the heats of the women's 200m IM will be Rebecca Meder. Seventeen-year-old Meder's entry time of 2:14.44 is some way off the fastest of 2:08.16 by Japan's Yu Ohashi, while Hungary's Katinka Hosszu is the overwhelming favourite for the gold medal.

SA have no entrants in the next event, the men's 400m freestyle.

Erin Gallagher swims in the women's 100m butterfly where she will have an outside chance of progressing to the final with her 12th-best entry time of 57.67, some 1.44 behind the quickest of Swedish star Sarah Sjöström who will be tough to beat to the top step of the podium.

SA swimming star Chad le Clos will make his first appearance at the championship in the following event, the men's 50m butterfly. While not his specialist distance, Le Clos' trademark fast start will make him an outside contender in the one-lap splash-and-dash.

Le Clos will be joined in the 97-man field by compatriot Ryan Coetzee who has made giant strides - or should that be strokes - in recent years.

In the fifth event of the opening day, 17-year-old up-and-coming star Dune Coetzee will take to the starting blocks in the women's 400m freestyle. Coetzee's selection is more one of gaining experience ahead of next year's Olympics in Japan as she isn't expected to progress further than the heats in an event which will in all likelihood be dominated by American superstar Katie Ledecky.

The final individual heat of Day 1 will be the men's 100m breaststroke where South Africa will be represented by Michael Houlie.

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

South Africa are entered in both the women's and men's events, but it remains to be seen whether they will in fact take to the water.

Day 1's heats will start at 03:00 on Sunday (SA time), with the opening day's finals due to start 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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