Grade 11 pupil Sates leaves SA short-course swim champs with 8 gold medals

Women 400m LC Individual Medley during day 3 of the SA National Aquatic Championships at Kings Park Swimming Pool on April 10, 2019 in Durban, South Africa.
Women 400m LC Individual Medley during day 3 of the SA National Aquatic Championships at Kings Park Swimming Pool on April 10, 2019 in Durban, South Africa.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

St Charles College grade 11 pupil Matthew Sates left the SA short-course championships with a total of eight gold medals on Tuesday‚ adding the 400m individual medley crown to his collection.

The 17-year-old clocked 4min 11.51sec in his home GC Joliffe pool in Pietermaritzburg to win the race by more than eight seconds‚ although he had to settle for third in the 50m freestyle in the final event of the gala‚ won by veteran Doug Erasmus in 22.17sec.

“That (50m free) was just for fun‚ to end off the gala‚” said Sates‚ who achieved three times inside the qualifying standards for the world championships in December next year.

Erin Gallagher won the women’s 50m freestyle in 24.80 to claim her fourth triumph of the gala. “I’m happy because I swam season’s bests here‚ but I’m not happy because I didn’t swim personal bests.”

Rebecca Meder won the women’s 400m IM title‚ clocking 4:44.71 ahead of Samantha Randle (4:47.04).

Danté Nortjé won the men’s 1‚500m freestyle in 15:26.53‚ nearly 30 seconds ahead of his Tuks teammate Roberto Gomes (15:26.53).

And Leigh McMorran‚ 16‚ claimed the women’s 800m freestyle in 8:49.69‚ beating fellow teen Catherine van Rensburg and 21-year-old Samantha Randle.

Qualifying times swum here don’t actually count for selection purposes‚ but offer swimmers a guide on standard. They’ll have to repeat their efforts at the 2021 championships to book a trip to Abu Dhabi.

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