Tatjana Schoenmaker. Picture: REUTERS/DAVID GRAY
Tatjana Schoenmaker. Picture: REUTERS/DAVID GRAY

Tatjana Schoenmaker clocked her third SA record of the national short-course championships in Pietermaritzburg on Monday‚ winning the 200m breaststroke in 2 min 18.02 sec.

She and Tuks teammate Kaylene Corbett produced the two standout swims of the day‚ both going inside the world championship qualifying time in the heats and the final.

Schoenmaker looked laboured in the morning as she clocked 2:19.69‚ but she quickened in the afternoon to take 0.18 sec off her own national mark.

“I think I was a little  tired in the morning with all the racing here. I think I was trying a bit too much after my good 100m swim yesterday.

“I was expecting to go under 2:18‚ but I was still able to bring it back this afternoon and improve my best so I’m happy with that‚” said Schoenmaker‚ who also won the 50m breaststroke.

Corbett went 2:23.82 in the morning and then 2:22.43. “I’m very happy‚ that’s a personal best‚” she said. “Finally some improvement‚ a small improvement.”

She has had a tough season‚ getting injured after having to do too much land-based training during hard lockdown. “This was my best swim of the season.”

Sixteen-year-old Aimee Canny broke the second national mark of the night as she edged Rebecca Meder to take the 100m individual medley thriller in 1:00.31‚ shaving 0.08 sec off the two-year-old mark. Both she and Meder‚ who touched in 1:00.57‚ scored world qualifiers.

“Going in I didn’t expect that time‚ I wasn’t even sure of the qualifying time‚” said Canny. “It was a hard race and I knew I had to stay with Rebecca.”

But when they kicked off the wall after the penultimate breaststroke leg‚ Canny knew she had it. “I’m a freestyle sprinter and I knew I had the legs. I knew it was mine.”

Meder‚ who had won the 100m backstroke not long before‚ tried in vain to fight back. “I focused on my own swim and just tried to come back as best I could. I gave it my best.”

Canny had raced in the 100m freestyle earlier‚ finishing second to veteran Erin Gallagher.

Matthew Sates continued his gold grab as he added three more SA titles — the blue riband 100m freestyle‚ the 100m individual medley and the 50m butterfly — to increase his haul to seven.

The 17-year-old‚ whose 100m individual medley time was his third world qualifier of the meet‚ has two more events on the final day on Tuesday.

Pieter Coetzé‚ 16‚ showed he is also someone to watch for the future‚ winning the 100m backstroke in 52.55, a time that places him sixth on the all-time SA list.

If the Grade 10 pupil from Pretoria can continue improving‚ he could go far. “I’m happy‚ especially if I look back to where I was last year this time. I’ve taken two seconds off,” he said.


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