Bay's Alaric Basson claims gold; Tatjana Schoenmaker swims to third national record
Tatjana Schoenmaker moved into second position on the world ranking for 100m breaststroke as she chalked up her third national record on day five of the SA Invitational Aquatics Championships in Gqeberha on Sunday evening.
Schoenmaker’s time of 1min 05.74secs, which was also an African record, ensured that the Gauteng swimmer ended her main events with a clean sweep of three gold medals along with three SA and African records.
The Commonwealth Games double gold medallist is now the second-fastest woman on the planet behind 2016 Olympics 100m breaststroke champion, American Lilly King.
“I’ve always wanted to try to improve my 100 for the 200, so I think the 100 after the 200 was a bit harder than I thought it would be,” Schoenmaker said.
“But even if I didn’t swim my PB [personal best] in the 100, I had such a great 200 that I would have left this place with a smile anyway.”
SA Olympian Chad le Clos admitted he would need to be at the very peak of his powers if he wanted to bring home a medal this year after claiming the 100m national butterfly title on Sunday.
Le Clos held off determined KwaZulu-Natal swimmer Matt Sates as he finished the sprint in a time of 52.13secs, only two hundredths of a second ahead of Sates, who finished with a 52.15.
While satisfied with his performance, the Rio 2016 silver medallist was full of praise for the fight shown by the promising young swimmer.
“I’m happy [about the win] but sad for Matt because he didn’t get the time,” Le Clos said.
“I wanted to control the race better.
“I wanted to take it to him in the first 50m but I think he touched ahead of me and I knew I had some work to do.
“It is a morale-boosting win for me because of where we are in the training, to pull out a win like that, the old Chad, coming from behind to win,” he said.
Gqeberha’s Alaric Basson could not improve on his morning personal best when he claimed the gold in the men’s 100m breaststroke final with a time of 1:01.29, while KwaZulu-Natal’s Erin Gallagher took gold in the women’s race.
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