Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport


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

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


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.

ALSO READ: SA team must punch above their weight to shine at Games

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.”

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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.

ALSO READ: Blitzboks cruise past Malaysia in Commonwealth opener

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

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Commonwealth Games swimming

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