Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
12 Apr 2019
8:03 am

Schoenmaker opens 2019 campaign in style

Wesley Botton

Three national titles for the rising star.

Tatjana Schoenmaker. South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

South Africa’s latest swimming sensation turned up the heat in the Kings Park Pool on Thursday night, as Tatjana Schoenmaker scorched to a clean sweep of the women’s breaststroke titles on day four of the SA National Aquatic Championships in Durban.

The 21-year-old rising star, who had won gold in the 50m and 100m events earlier in the week, clocked 1:06.83 to add the 200m crown to her tally in her specialist stroke.

Schoenmaker was less than half a second outside her own African record of 1:06.41, which she set when she won the Commonwealth Games title last year, and she expanded her potential programme for this year’s Fina World Championships by dipping well under the qualifying standard of 1:07.43.

Meanwhile, African record holder Chris Reid was within touch of the 54.06 qualifying mark in the men’s 100m backstroke, but he narrowly missed out.

Reid, who had already qualified for the 200m backstroke at the global championships to be held in Gwangju in July, clocked 54.13 in the morning heats and fell just 0.07 shy of the required standard. He went on to win the 100m final in 54.23.

In the men’s 100m breaststroke, teenager Michael Houlie won gold in 1:00.44, completing the race 0.49 outside the World Championships qualifying standard of 59.95.

And though she was nearly four seconds outside the required mark in the women’s 400m freestyle, 16-year-old Dune Coetzee was in superb form.

Outclassing her senior compatriots, Coetzee charged to a convincing victory in 4:14.27, touching the wall more than eight seconds clear of her nearest opponent.

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