Schoenmaker leads cost at SA Swimming Championships, SA swimmers eye … – News24

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Olympic medallist Tatjana Schoenmaker (Gallo Images)


Olympic medallist Tatjana Schoenmaker (Gallo Images)

Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

Places within the groups to characterize South Africa on the World Championships and Commonwealth Games might be on the road because the nation’s finest swimmers head to Gqeberha for the SA National Swimming Championships from Wednesday.

Action on the Newton Park Swimming pool will get beneath approach from 6 April-11 April.

Leading the cost might be world record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker, who claimed gold and silver ultimately yr’s Tokyo Olympics.

“I’m very excited. It’s been a bit more tough than other years, just in the sense of getting back into things since everything has changed,” stated Schoenmaker.

“There are a lot of new responsibilities that came along the past eight months. But it’s been very exciting and I’m always up for the challenge.”

Schoenmaker is not anticipating to be in the identical nationwide record-breaking type, she’s simply relishing the possibility to race alongside what’s quick turning into a world-class discipline of South African breaststrokers.

“I had never swum a PB at Nationals before – last year was the first time ever so I think that’s why you saw the shock on my face. Going into this Nationals, there’s no expectation. I’m just focusing on my races,” stated Schoenmaker.

“There are some fast girls, especially in the breaststroke. Kaylene [Corbett] and Lara [van Niekerk] are doing so well so I’m excited to see how they race. Not necessarily trying to beat each other. I think it’s just supporting each other to get into that team and then prove ourselves internationally.”

Also lining up in Gqeberha might be four-time Olympic medallist Chad le Clos, who’s battling his approach again from sickness – having frolicked in hospital earlier within the yr with bronchitis.

“It’s been a great year of training. I’m managed to gather a group of youngsters to train with me in South Africa – mainly based out of Cape Town,” stated Le Clos, who has been entered within the 100 and 200m freestyle, and the 50, 100 and 200m butterfly.

“I’ve swum a couple of local competitions before Nationals, but I’m on my fourth round of antibiotics. I have chronic sinusitis and I have to have surgery to get that fixed, so we’re hoping to get that done – hopefully after Commonwealths… It’s been really bad, but other than that the training has been going excellently, really well.”

Le Clos has set his sights on turning into essentially the most embellished athlete of all time on the Commonwealth Games.

“I’ll hopefully, qualify for a couple of races and then my goal is to become the most successful Commonwealth Games athlete in history come July.”

With 17 medals from three Games already within the bag, Le Clos might want to win two extra medals to surpass Australian shooter Phillip Adams, who presently holds the report.

“That’s a big goal of mine. I’m focusing very heavily on that. We’ve got the world champs before, which will obviously be very important, but the Commonwealths is definitely my main focus for this year. Hopefully, we can get a couple of relays through and pick up a few medals there, but I’m hoping to smash that record come July.”

Meanwhile, additionally seeking to make a splash as soon as once more this yr is rising star Matt Sates, who has returned to South Africa for the National Championships from the USA, the place he set the faculty circuit ablaze for the University of Georgia.

Having represented the nation on the Olympics final yr, Sates might be gunning for the primary look at each the World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

“My experience in the US since January has been one that I am so happy to add to my list of blessings that have come my way with my swimming career. I was so kindly welcomed and part of the Bulldogs as soon as I arrived,” he stated.

Sates made a reputation for himself internationally within the brief course pool in 2021 after securing the general World Cup title.

In Gqeberha, the 18-year-old has been entered into the 50, 100 and 200m butterfly, the 50, 100, 200 and 400m freestyle and the 200 and 400m particular person medley.

“Nationals in 2021 was an incredibly stressful time for me as I was needing to qualify for the Olympics and the pressure was intense. I think in the last year, I have matured and racing the World Cups last year took the stress of galas to the next level,” stated Sates.

“I go into the competitions now, taking what I learnt last year to hopefully keep on getting better and learning how to deal with all the different pressures that come with it. I enjoy Nationals as it is a time for all the SA swimmers to be together.”


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