Jacques van der Westhuyzen
Head of Sport
1 minute read
29 Jul 2022
4:22 pm

LISTEN: SA swim star Lara van Niekerk talks about her Games record

Jacques van der Westhuyzen

There were several good performances on day one of the swimming events, with the semi-finals to be held Friday night.

Swimmer Lara van Niekerk has broken a Commonwealth Games record. Picture: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

South Africa’s newest swimming star Lara van Niekerk has made her intentions clear by breaking the Commonwealth Games 50m breaststroke record on day one of the swimming events in Birmingham on Friday.

Van Niekerk, 19, recorded a time of 29.82 seconds in her morning heat, with Olympic star Tatjana Schoenmaker second in 30.76 seconds.

Kaylene Corbett finished second in her heat in 31.07 seconds.

All three girls will swim in the semi-finals on Friday night.

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Van Niekerk said she was stressed before her heat.

“Before the race I was quite stressed and had a heat flush. My adrenaline was pumping. But during the race I felt like I was gliding through the water. Then, when I touched the wall and saw my time I was so happy.”

In other swimming events on day one at the Games, Matthew Sates progressed to the final of the 400m freestyle after finishing third in his heat in 3.49,69.

Chad le Clos and Clayton Jimmie also both qualified for the semi-finals in the 50m butterfly, while Pieter Coetze won his heat in the 100m backstroke to qualify fastest for the semi-finals.

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In the women’s 100m butterfly Erin Gallagher, Dune Coetzee and Trinity Hearne progressed to the semi-finals.