Picture: 123RF/NEJRON
Picture: 123RF/NEJRON

St Charles College grade 11 pupil Matthew Sates left the SA short-course championships with a total of eight gold medals on Tuesday‚ adding the 400m individual medley crown to his collection.

The 17-year-old clocked 4 min 11.51 sec in his home GC Joliffe pool in Pietermaritzburg to win the race by more than 8 sec‚ though he had to settle for third in the 50m freestyle in the final event of the gala‚ won by veteran Doug Erasmus in 22.17sec.

“That [50m free] was just for fun‚ to end off the gala‚” said Sates‚ who achieved three times inside the qualifying standards for the world championships in December 2021.

Erin Gallagher won the women’s 50m freestyle in 24.80 to claim her fourth triumph of the gala. “I’m happy because I swam season’s bests here‚ but I’m not happy because I didn’t swim personal bests.”

Rebecca Meder won the women’s 400m IM title‚ clocking 4:44.71 ahead of Samantha Randle (4:47.04).

Danté Nortjé won the men’s 1‚500m freestyle in 15:26.53‚ nearly 30 sec ahead of his Tuks teammate Roberto Gomes (15:26.53).

Leigh McMorran‚ 16‚ claimed the women’s 800m freestyle in 8:49.69‚ beating fellow teen Catherine van Rensburg and 21-year-old Samantha Randle.

Qualifying times swum at these championships do not actually count for selection purposes‚ but offer swimmers a guide on standard. They will have to repeat their efforts at the 2021 championships to book a trip to Abu Dhabi.

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