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Aquatics | SA Swimming

Ayrton Sweeney © Gallo Images

SA youngsters impress in Nelspruit

The Van Riebeeck Park Pool witnessed some amazing performances as Mzansi’s talented youth took to the water for the first swimming finals session of the 2018 South African Grand Prix in Nelspruit on Saturday.

Ayrton Sweeney was over the moon with his wins in the 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley.

In the freestyle event, Sweeney edged out the competition in 1:53.23, ahead of fellow team-mate Matthew Bosch who claimed the silver in 1:55.83 and Germany’s Rafael Miroslaw who walked away with the bronze in 1:55.96, while in the medley race, Sweeney finished in 2:05.29 to Anandt van Rensburg’s 2:13.42 and 2:16.60 from Germany’s Marc Brock.

In the 100m freestyle, there was no stopping Erin Gallagher, as she raced to the gold in a time of 56.44 to Olivia Nel’s 59.24 and Germany’s Angelina Kohler’s 59.34, while Emily Visagie won a well-deserved gold in the 200m breaststroke in 2:32.76 ahead of Germany’s Anna Kroniger and Noa Horsterm who finished in 2:36.28 and 2:40.15, respectively.

Tori Oliver beat out Germany’s Rosaline Kleyboldt in the 200m butterfly, touching the wall in 2:25.85 to Kleyboldt’s 2:26.50, while the bronze was claimed by SA’s Jordyn Minifie in 2:36.41.

Straight from his impressive performance at the KZN Premier Championships, Luca Holtzhausen continued to showcase his talent, winning the 50 and 100m freestyles.

In the 100m event, Holtzhausen clocked 54.74, over 7secs ahead of Grant de Jager in 1:02.96 and Greg Braithwaite in 1:07.42, while in the 50m race, the 13 year-old’s time was 25.34 to De Jager’s 28.48 and Braithwaite’s 30.41.

Jessica Whelan was also victorious on two occasions, with a golden time of 5:04.48 in the 400m individual medley and 4:30.78 in the 400m freestyle, while Martin Binedell claimed the top position in the 200m backstroke in 2:04.05.

Melanie Cooke and Chumwe Ngandwe came first and second in the 100m butterfly in 1:13.95 and 1:36.03, respectively, while the 800m freestyle winners were Aryan Makhija in 8:28.64, Divan Bester in 8:55.72 and Yuvish Premlall in 9:35.07.

Cooke also scooped the 100m breaststroke gold in 1:31.15 and later in the day won the bronze in the 200m individual medley in 2:50.33.

In the 50m freestyle, Daniel Ronaldson grabbed the gold in 23.90, followed by Alard Basson in 24.35, while the bronze was shared between Cameron Oliver and Alaric Basson, who both finished in 24.57, with Ronaldson also winning the 100m butterfly in 54.94.

Alaric Basson was not done for the day as he also scooped the gold medal in the 100m breaststroke in 1:03.71 ahead of Brenden Crawford in 1:04.44 and Anandt van Rensburg in 1:07.39, while the 100m backstroke title went to Matt Caldwell in 1:22.57.

It was an all-German affair in the 100m backstroke as Lucie Kuhn (1:05.39), Hannah Kuchler (1:06.38) and Sophia Beckers (1:06.61) dominated the race.

In the 5km Open Water races, which took place this morning, Michelle Weber as well as sisters Rebecca and Abi Meder once again topped the medal podium in 1:00:09.52, 1:00:18.96 and 1:00:27.78, respectively, while on the men’s side, Henre Louw went one better by winning the gold in 1:00:01.53 ahead of Aiden Petersen in 1:00:18.53 and Andrew Ritchie in 1:00:19.59.

The Nelspruit leg of the SA Grand Prix concludes tomorrow with the swimming finals session starting at 8.30am.

The second and final leg of the Grand Prix will be held in Stellenbosch from 16 to 18 February 2018.


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