Carl Peters
Sport Editor
3 minute read
15 Apr 2021
06:58

Coach Riddin pleased with Pietermaritzburg swimmers’ performances at SA Invitational

Carl Peters

Master coach Wayne Riddin says Pie­termaritzburg swimmers gave a good account of themselves at the SA Invitational Championships in Gqeberha, formerly known as Port Elizabeth, despite one of the leaders of the group, Matthew Sates, missing out on a qualifying time for the coming Olympic Games.

Master coach Wayne Riddin says Pie­termaritzburg swimmers gave a good account of themselves at the SA Invitational Championships in Gqeberha, formerly known as Port Elizabeth, despite one of the leaders of the group, Matthew Sates, missing out on a qualifying time for the coming Olympic Games.

The gala doubled as Olympic and Paralympic trials and there were seven Olympic times and 10 Paralympic times achieved by a total of 11 swimmers by the close on Monday night at the Newton Park pool.

“Once again it was a Le Clos clash where the Olympic gold medallist survived another challenge from [Matthew] Sates, this time by just 0,02 sec to win in 52,13 seconds. The final day was bitter-sweet for Sates as he tackled the men’s 200m individual medley with the Olympic mark at 1:59,67.”
Wayne Riddin

They included Pietermaritzburg’s Paralympic female star Alani Ferreira, who joyfully clocked one minute and 23,97 seconds in the SB13 category for the 100m breaststroke.

Riddin said Sates was yet again involved in a heavy racing schedule and did well to earn himself four gold and two silver medals, in addition to giving Durban Olympian Chad le Clos a tough time in the pool more than once.

While he will have to wait for Olympic qualification at another competition coming up, Riddin said on Wednesday that the events Sates competed in were all qualifying times for the Junior World Champs that will be held in Kazan, Russia, in late August; as well as five Olympic “B” qualifying times.

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After the early race excitements in the Eastern Cape gala, which included medals for Sates, Riddin said that eyes were on the men’s 100m butterfly on day five where there was again hope to achieve the Olympic qualifying time of 51,96 sec.

“Once again it was a Le Clos clash where the Olympic gold medallist survived another challenge from Sates, this time by just 0,02 sec to win in 52,13 seconds. The final day was bitter-sweet for Sates as he tackled the men’s 200m individual medley with the Olympic mark at 1:59,67.”

Again out on his own, Sates was on track on each stroke where a slight hesitation through the backstroke to breaststroke could be seen as the cause of missing the time in the end.

“Another star city swimmer to excel was [Alani] Ferreira, who swims in the multi-disability categories. Classified as S13, Ferreira got her championships off on a high note by breaking her own SA record in the 50m breaststroke, clocking 39,13 sec. She followed this up the next day with another SA record in the 100m butterfly, touching in 1:20,08 before her big day that included the 100m breaststroke and 400m freestyle.”
Wayne Riddin

He raced to an impressive 1:59,69 — his first time under that difficult two minute barrier and just 0,02 seconds outside the qualifying time.

“But all credit to the rising star as he now has to set his sites on the Grand Prix at the end of May where he can have another chance to qualify.”

Riddin said Ferreira caught the eye again as well. “Another star city swimmer to excel was Ferreira, who swims in the multi-disability categories. Classified as S13, Ferreira got her championships off on a high note by breaking her own SA record in the 50m breaststroke, clocking 39,13 sec. She followed this up the next day with another SA record in the 100m butterfly, touching in 1:20,08 before her big day that included the 100m breaststroke and 400m freestyle.

“Ferreira managed to achieve a Paralympic time in the heats of the 100m breaststroke in 1:24,28 and then went even faster in the evening final to finish on 1:23,97. Chasing a time of 4:59,02 for the 400m freestyle, Ferreira got close as she raced to a new SA record in 5:00,28.”