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Dec 12 18

TeamSA swimming team bring home 62 medal from the AUSC Region 5 U20 Youth Games in Botswana

by ZwemZa

The South African swimming team dominated the Africa Union Sports Council Region 5 U20 Youth Games in Gaborone, Botswana where they won a total of 62 medals over four days of competition, two more than the 2016 event.

Duné Coetzee (Rekord Pretoria)

Youth Olympics silver medallist Duné Coetzee #TuksSwimming #TuksofNiks was one of the star performers in the pool winning a total of four gold medals in the 100 and 200m butterfly and the 200 and 400m freestyle events. Coetzee also achieved three new Championship records in the 100 and 200m butterfly and the 200m freestyle.

Christin Mundell in training action, by Reg Caldecott

Christin Mundell #TuksSwimming #TuksofNiks demonstrated her versatility in the pool winning a total of six medals, gold in the 200m individual medley and silver in the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke while she finished second behind Coetzee in the 200m freestyle. 

Louw Oberholzer was the top male swimmer at the Games where he won a total of six medals taking the top spot in the 200m individual medley, the 50 and 100m freestyle and won silver in the 50 and 100m backstroke as well as the 200m freestyle. Oberholzer also raced to two new Championship records in the 200m individual medley and the 100m freestyle.  

Michael Houlie of South Africa winning Gold during the Men’s 50m Breaststroke on day 6 of Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on October 12, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Image: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

Youth Olympian Michael Houlie won his specialist 50 and 100m breaststroke events, both with new Championship record times, but Ruan Breytenbach #TuksSwimming #TuksofNiks outclassed him in the 200m breaststroke final and he had to settle for the silver medal. 

Henju Duvenhage also made a big contribution to the medal tally with five individual wins including gold in the 50 and 100m backstroke adding three more silver medals in the 

50 and 100m butterfly and the 200m individual medley.

Supplied by SSA

Dec 12 18

Staying in “Good Nervous” before your Races

by ZwemZa

One of the main reasons races are won and lost before the start is because of how physiologically activated a swimmer gets. That is, how excited/nervous you allow yourself to get the night before, morning of, or right behind the blocks before your race. If you get too activated, or what I call “bad” nervous, then you will physically tighten up, lose your confidence and unknowingly sabotage all of your hard work with a disappointing swim. However, if you can manage to keep yourself in “good” nervous, then you will stay loose and confident and race to your potential.

So what’s the difference between “good” and “bad” nervous?

“Good” nervous pre-race is necessary for you to have a great swim. Your mind and body need to be “up” for the race. Good nervous is usually accompanied by butterflies in your stomach, a bit of adrenaline flowing through your system, an increased heart rate and faster, shallower breathing. You have a feeling of excitement as your race approaches and you look forward to the race.

However, in “bad” nervous, your excitement has turned into over-activation. Suddenly your butterflies have developed fangs! You may feel sick to your stomach, your muscles may be very tight and you may notice a feeling of heaviness in your legs. Some swimmers talk about this as “dead legs.” Your heart rate is through the roof and you have trouble getting a full breath when you’re in “bad” nervous. One of the hallmarks of bad nervous is a sense of dread as the race approaches and you may notice an impulse to flee or avoid the race. Also there is frequently a feeling of “I can’t wait until this is over!”

When “bad” nervous becomes extreme, the swimmer totally shuts down, looking and acting “calm” before their race. They might even claim that they don’t really care about the race or its outcome. However, don’t be fooled by this artificial state of calm. There is nothing calm about it.

So how do you get yourself into “good” nervous and avoid becoming over-activated and slipping into “bad nervous?”

  1. Keep your focus of concentration on YOU and YOUR race and away from your opponents or teammates. Stay away from “studying” the heat sheet and how fast others are. By focusing on YOUR pre-race ritual before, and executing YOUR race plan during your swim, you will enable yourself to stay calm and in a good place mentally.
  2. Leave your goals at home. Don’t bring your time or place goals to the meet with you. Outcome goals like these will make your race too important and generate “bad” nervous. Instead, try to keep your focus in the “now,” both before and during your race.
  3. If teammates or anyone around you is making you nervous with their behaviors or conversations, immediately excuse yourself and find someone else to hang out with whose behaviors don’t trigger you and whose conversations are lighter.
  4. Have fun. Smile. Cheer for friends. Laugh and enjoy yourself. Fun will always keep you in “good” nervous.
  5. If it works for you, listen to music. The right kind of music can help you chill out. Avoid pump-up music.
  6. Avoid spending time alone if it leads to you overthinking about your race, other swimmers and what could happen if you don’t swim fast. Stay by yourself ONLY if this helps you remain calm.
  7. Breathe. If you find yourself getting too nervous pre-race, switch your focus of concentration to your breathing and just simply follow your breath in and out. Close your eyes and allow your focus to gently rest on your breathing. In two – three minutes, you will notice that your breathing will get slower and deeper as you begin to calm down!

Remember, if you get too nervous pre-race, you will waste valuable energy and undermine your self-confidence. Stay aware of your level of pre-meet and pre-race nervousness and use these strategies should you find yourself heading towards “bad” nervous. In January, I will help you develop some other mental tools to keep yourself calm under the pressure of big  meets.

Dr. Alan Goldberg |

Dec 11 18

Silver and a new African Record for Chad le Clos during the first day of the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships

by ZwemZa

Chad Le Clos during the 2017 South Africa National Aquatic Championships at the Kings Park Aquatic Centre, South Africa on 05 April 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Silver and an African record for Olympian Chad le Clos, as the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) got underway in Hangzhou, China today.

In the 200m butterfly, Le Clos was fastest off the block but lost some speed at the 100m mark to conclude the final with the silver medal and a new African record in 1:48.32, while Japan’s Daiya Seto broke the South African’s World Record and clocked a fast 1:48.24 to Le Clos’ 2013 time of 1:48.56. The bronze went to China’s Zhuhao Li in 1:50.39.

Cameron van der Burgh successfully qualified for tomorrow night’s final of the 100m breaststroke when he touched the wall in a time of 56.90, ending in 6th place in today’s semi-finals. The fastest qualifier was Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli in 56.30.

In other results from the morning heats session, Rebecca Meder finished in an overall 18th place in the 400m individual medley with a time of 4:39.31, while Ayrton Sweeney was 27th in the 200m individual medley, clocking 1:58.76.

Tomorrow’s programme will feature Le Clos is the 200m freestyle and the 100m butterfly, while Ryan Coetzee will also compete in the butterfly event and Erin Gallagher will take on the 100m freestyle.



Dec 11 18

Hangzhou, Day 1: Seto and USA establish new WR

by ZwemZa

Daiya Seto (

The 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) brilliantly debuted in Hangzhou (CHN), with two World Records in the first finals’ session of the competition. The individual hero of the day was Japan’s Daiya Seto in the men’s 200m fly, with a new global mark of 1:48.24. In the last race on the programme, the US team in the 4x100m free relay clocked 3:03.03. Another highlight of this initial day was the Championships’ record of Danas Rapsys (LTU) in the men’s 400m free (3:34.01).


Precisely in the first final of the day, the men’s 400m free, Rapsys concluded a solitary effort with a gold medal in 3:34.01, a new Championships record – the best previous mark of the competition had been established by Peter Bernek (HUN, 3:34.32) in Doha 2014.

Rapsys became the second men’s gold medallist ever for Lithuania in the history of the Championships, after the triumph of his compatriot Simonas Bilis in the 100m free two years ago in Windsor (CAN). Before his victory in Hangzhou, Rapsys had been eighth in the 200m back at the 2017 FINA World Championships, and fifth in the same event in Windsor 2016.

The minor medals in China went to Henrik Christiansen (NOR, 3:36.64, silver) and to Gabriele Detti (ITA, 3:37.54, bronze).

In the women’s 200m free, Femke Heemskerk (NED, lane 6) led until the 100m-mark, but then Mallory Comerford, from the USA, accelerated in lane 4. Shortly after, it was the turn of Ariarne Titmus (AUS) to impose her speed. In the end, the Australian’s effort paid off, with a victory in 1:51.38, in front of Comerford (silver in 1:51.81) and of Heemskerk (1:52.36). The Dutch swimmer had won this event in Doha 2014, while long-course world champion Federica Pellegrini (ITA) had to content with the fourth place, in 1:53.18.

Chad Le Clos (RSA), in the men’s 200m fly, fought for the fourth title in the event, after previous successes in 2010, 2014 and 2016. Swimming in lane 1, the South African (also WR holder in the distance) had in Daiya Seto, from Japan, his main contender in today’s final. Seto won silver four years ago in Doha and was third in the previous edition in Windsor.

In Hangzhou, Le Clos departed very fast – he was first after the 50m -, but Seto definitively accelerated for the victory and the new World Record from that point on. In the end, the Japanese star touched home in 1:48.24, faster than the 1:48.56 established by Le Clos in November 2013. The South African arrived closely behind, still inside his global mark (1:48.32). The bronze went to China’s Li Zhuhao in 1:50.39.

In the women’s 400m IM, the outcome was clear from the beginning – Katinka Hosszu (HUN) was the super-favourite. The only question mark was her time: could she beat the WR (4:18.94) established in August 2017 by Mireia Belmonte (ESP, absent in China)? Until the 200m-mark, everything seemed OK for the Magyar (0.76 below the WR split), but a weaker breaststroke leg did not allow Hosszu to swim faster than 4:21.40 and revalidate her 2016 title. The silver went to Melanie Margalis (USA), in a distant 4:25.84, while the bronze was earned by France’s Fantine Lesaffre in 4:27.31.

The crowd in Hangzhou was certainly expecting the first gold medal for the host country in the men’s 200m IM, where Wang Shun was the fastest qualifier of the preliminaries in 1:53.18. The bet proved right and Wang touched first in 1:51.01, completing a very intelligent race, which he dominated all the way through. He was faster than two years ago, when he was also first in Windsor in a time of 1:51.74. Josh Prenot (USA) took the silver in 1:52.69, while the bronze went to Hiromasa Fujimori (JPN), in 1:52.73.

On relay action, USA got two gold medals at the end of the evening session, firstly winning the women’s 4x100m free relay in 3:27.78, and then, even more impressively, the men’s 4x100m free in a new World Record time of 3:03.03. This global mark improves the previous best performance (3:03.30) also from the North American team, achieved in December 2009 in Manchester (GBR). The new WR holders are Caeleb Dressel, Blake Pieroni, Michael Chadwick and Ryan Held). Both races were spectacular, with the silver medallists being very close from the winners – among women, the Netherlands finished in 3:28.02, while in the men’s field, Russia was second in 3:03.11. Bronze medals went, respectively, to China (3:30.92) and Brazil (3:05.15).


Danas Rapsys (LTU), Gold, men’s 400m free

“Oh my god, I don’t know what to say because it’s the first time I’m swimming this event and it’s the world championship, and it’s a championship record. I’m really happy. I just went in, all in from the start”.

“Some months ago I decided I wanted to swim the 400m free because so far I was only swimming the 200m back. So I talked to my coach and here we are. Swimming in Lithuania is rising because we have a really good team of professionals. I think that swimmers are doing their job and training as much as they can but we do our work with the rest of the team, it is not only the work of the swimmer”.

Ariarne Titmus (AUS) – Gold, women’s 200m free

“I am shocked, I didn’t expect to win. I swam really fast tonight. It’s my first short course world championship and it’s a great start to the week. Setting an Oceania record it’s definitely a bonus, I didn’t necessarily come here to set records”.

“I live in Brisbane (AUS) and I am 18 years old. I swim 200, 400 and 800, freestyle. This meet is very important because it is only a year and a half of the Olympics so I take it very seriously. Short-course is a bit different for me, turns and dives aren’t my strengths so I am facing girls who have much more skills than me, therefore this medal and this record give me a lot confidence for the future. I still have got five more days before I can celebrate. I will have a little bit of a break over Christmas and that will be my celebration but early next year training will resume for me”.

Daiya Seto (JPN) – Gold, men’s 200m fly

“I am so happy and I am so surprised that I set a world record. I wake up every day wanting to set a new record and I finally did it. It is amazing”.

“I learned Chinese because my wife is Chinese and she taught me. I wanted to make a new WR, I am so happy that I could make it today. My wife and her father didn’t not give me much advice before coming here but I always take my gold medals as benchmark reference for myself. My goal is always to win gold in the 200 IM and 400 IM. Today’s World Championships is related to the next two major milestones, Korea next year, the FINA World Championships and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for which I have the same goals, winning the gold in the 200 and 400 IM. I have always wanted to compete against Wang Shun”.

Chad Le Clos (RSA) – Silver, men’s 200m fly

“I can’t say anything bad. I did a World Record. Unfortunately, I got beat. Seto is a great guy, a great champion. It stings to lose like that. I think he had the lead the whole way if I was looking correctly underwater. The coach will shout at me for looking around way too much, but that’s what I do. I broke the world record tonight and the national record, and I got silver. I don’t know how that happened. I don’t make excuses, It is what it is. I would have loved to have been in lane 5 next to him”.

Katinka Hosszu (HUN) – Gold, women’s 400m IM

“I don’t really put pressure on myself, in a way. I usually have goal times that I want to hit. I have been able to learn how to just focus on myself and try to push myself, so in that manner, I’m not worried about the place and the end. I’m always trying to stay in the moment and just race and try to do my strategy. I was pretty relaxed this afternoon, and I’m really excited about the time. The world record is obviously always something you shoot for, you want to be the best, you want to be the fastest ever. But no, that wasn’t completely my goal this year”.

Wang Shun (CHN) – Gold, men’s 200m IM

“Today it is a great pleasure for me that I have won the gold medal in my hometown and it is my personal best time so I am very honoured to be the champion. I hope to maintain my good performance in my next race. Daiya Seto is a very strong competitor and I am excited to compete against him in the future if the opportunity present itself. I have had about three weeks of very intense competition in three different nations so now I will also have three weeks to relax and to get physically ready for what’s next”.

FINA Communications Department

Dec 11 18

Le Clos settles for silver, loses butterfly world record

by ZwemZa

Chad le Clos (FloSwimming)

Chad le Clos took silver in the men’s 200m butterfly final at the FINA World Short-course Championships in Hangzhou, China on Tuesday.

Swimming out of Lane 1, Le Clos touched the wall in a time of 1:48.32 to finish second behind Japan’s Daiya Seto, who set a new world record time of 1.48.24.

Le Clos set the previous world record in Singapore five years ago (1:48.56).

Earlier in the day in his heat, Le Clos touched the wall first in a time of 1:51.90 which put him seventh overall.

Cameron van der Burgh is the next South African to hit the pool on Tuesday, as he competes in the men’s 100m breaststroke semi-final (14:04 SA time).


Dec 11 18

Team SA bag more Games medals in Gaborone

by ZwemZa


The hard work put in by Team SA’s tennis squad finally paid off as they paved a victorious way to the code’s first medals of the African Union Sport Council Region V Games in Gaborone on Monday.

It was an all-South African affair at the Notwane Tennis Courts with team SA’s players achieving a total of four medals –three golds and one silver– in their different events.

In the girls finals, Delien Kleinhans once again got the better of her opponent, Beverly Matsiwe from Zimbabwe, and prevailed with a 6-3 6-1 gold medal win. Kleinhans later paired with Ntokozo Zungu to secure another gold medal for Team SA in the girls tournament doubles, defeating their Botswana opponents, winning 7-5 6-2.

The boys finals saw Robbie Arends gain the silver medal after losing to his Zimbabwean competitor, Mehluli Sibanda, with a scoreline of  2-6 6-4 10-4. In the boys doubles, Arends and Longwe Smit came out victorious and were crowned the 2018 tennis men’s doubles champion as they walked away with a gold medal.

On Tuesday, the mixed doubles team will compete against Mozambique at the Notwane Tennis Courts.

Meanwhile, the swimming team once again cleaned up the medals in the aquatics code, gathering a total of 16 medals on Monday.

After three days of swimming action Team SA have now racked up 48 medals in different disciplines for both boys and girls categories, leading by wide margins on the overall points table.

The 4×50 women’s relay won gold in 1:14,17, breaking the Game record as well as the South African national championship record.

Team SA obtained nine golds and seven silver medals to conclude their swimming competition on Monday.


Dec 11 18

South African swimmers struggle in Day 1 heats in China

by ZwemZa

Rebecca Meder (Sascoc)

South Africa’s swimmers struggled in the heats on Day 1 of the 14th FINA World Short-course Swimming Championships in Hangzhou, China on Tuesday.

Butterfly superstar Chad le Clos was first to take to the water in the men’s 200m heats.

Swimming out of Lane 4 in Heat 3, Le Clos touched the wall first in a time of 1:51.90 which put him seventh overall, some 2:02 behind the fastest time (1:49.88) which was posted by Japan’s Daiya Seto for the 8-man field set to contest this afternoon’s final (13:41 SA time).

Le Clos is the world record holder in the event with the 1:48.56 he set in Singapore a little over five years ago.

Next in the pool for South Africa was 16-year-old Rebecca Meder in the women’s 400m individual medley.

When all was said and done, Meder’s time of 4:39.31 was the 18th-fastest out of the 30-strong field.

Hungarian queen of the pool, Katinka Hosszu, comfortably led the way with 4:23.59 – a staggering 4.15 ahead of her nearest challenger.

Cameron van der Burgh, who recently got married and relocated to London, could only post the ninth-fastest time in the men’s 100m breaststroke heats, an event in which he is the world record holder.

Van der Burgh, swimming out of Lane 2 in Heat 7, was only fourth quickest in his heat in a time of 57.39 and will have to improve considerably in this afternoon’s semi-finals (14:04 SA time) if he wishes to contest Wednesday’s final.

Ilya Shymanovich from Belarus posted the fastest time of 56.47.

Van der Burgh’s world record, which he posted in Berlin a full nine years ago, stands at 55.61.

Ayrton Sweeney was the fourth and final member of the nine-strong SA squad in China in action in the first session of the championships.

Swimming in the men’s 200m individual medley, Sweeney had to settle for a disappointing 27th place in the 43-man field with a time of 1:58.76.

Sweeney’s time was a full 5.58 behind the quickest time posted by home favourite Shun Wang (1:53.18).

Disappointingly, South Africa elected not to contest either of the men’s or women’s 4x100m freestyle relay heats in which only 13 and 11 nations, respectively, did so.

A top 8 finish in either of the limited fields would’ve been good enough to secure a spot in the final.

South African team in Hangzhou:


Chad le Clos, Cameron van der Burgh, Brad Tandy, Ryan Coetzee, Ayrton Sweeney, Douglas Erasmus


Erin Gallagher, Emily Visagie, Rebecca Meder

Garrin Lambley – Sport24 Editor

Dec 11 18

Bronte Campbell set for swimming comeback

by ZwemZa

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 13: Bronte Campbell of Australia smiles after winning the Women’s 50m Freestyle during the 2017 Australian Swimming Championships at the Sleeman Sports Complex on April 13, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

She may be a long way from Australia’s team camp in China but Bronte Campbell is set to take her first step toward a return with a comeback at the Queensland swimming titles.

As the Dolphins contest this week’s world short course titles in Hangzhou, Campbell appears poised to make a splash in her first major event since taking an injury-enforced break after the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Campbell, 24, has entered in the 50m and 100m freestyle events at the week-long Queensland championships at Brisbane Aquatic Centre, starting on Saturday.

The former dual world champion took a sabbatical from the pool in a bid to overcome niggling shoulder, back and hip dramas that had plagued her for years.

She committed to the break before April’s Commonwealth Games but seemed reluctant after rediscovering her mojo on the Gold Coast, upsetting her sister Cate in the 100m freestyle in a Games record and collecting three gold medals.

However, Campbell was finally convinced to enjoy time away and get herself fit for a Tokyo 2020 tilt after witnessing her sister Cate’s own remarkable rejuvenation.

Cate Campbell took 12 months off after a disastrous 2016 Olympics and returned with a vengeance, exorcising her Rio demons by winning the 50m-100m freestyle double and five gold overall at August’s Pan Pacs in Tokyo.

Bronte Campbell looks set to test the waters at the Queensland titles before setting her sights on her biggest meet before the Tokyo Olympics, the 2019 world swimming championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

Campbell will headline an impressive Queensland championships line-up before relocating to Sydney with her sister and their coach Simon Cusack in the new year.

The Campbell sisters confirmed in September that they would leave Brisbane with Cusack, who has been poached by the NSW Institute of Sport.

Other notable Dolphins in action at the Queensland titles will be Emma McKeon, Shayna Jack, Kiah Melverton, David Morgan, Kaylee McKeown, Jack McLoughlin, Elijah Winnington, Clyde Lewis and Jake Packard.

Curiously, middle-distance queen Ariarne Titmus has also nominated for the Queensland championships despite being part of Australia’s short course team in China.

Titmus is considered an outside chance of flying home from the world short course titles which conclude on Sunday and contesting the Queensland championships which wrap up on December 21.


Dec 11 18

National Artistic Swimming Championship held in Pretoria

by ZwemZa

Kingfisher AquaSync Artistic Swimming Club will this coming weekend be hosting the 2018 National Age group championship for Artistic Swimming on behalf of Northern Tigers Swimming (NTS) and Swim South Africa (SSA).

The championship will be presented at the Hillcrest Pool in Pretoria from 13 to 15 December and proceedings will start daily at 09:00 and last until 17:00.

It is the first time in more than a decade that a national competition in the sport is held in Gauteng. Between 80 and 90 competitors are expected at the championship.

The participants, aged between 6 and 26 years will travel from Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London and Johannesburg to compete against local swimmers.

Artistic Swimming, formerly known as Synchronized Swimming, is a growing, but little-known sport in South Africa. It is a very difficult sport that requires commitment, discipline, strength, flexibility, coordination, team-work and fitness.

It is also an Olympic sport and the national teams competes internationally annually. Therefore, the national team trials and subsequent training camp in preparation for next year’s world championship will take place at the same pool immediately after the SA championship.

For any inquiries, phone Erika Vegter on 082-830-9009 or contact her via email at .

Dec 11 18

Le Clos adds support to growing rebellion by top swimmers

by ZwemZa

Chad le Clos (Twitter)

Four-time Olympic medalist Chad le Clos has thrown his support behind a planned new competition that is leading top swimmers to rebel against their own governing body.

The International Swimming League, which aims to launch next year, “will benefit swimming with a new dynamic approach,” Le Clos said.

The ISL is privately owned and outside the control of Switzerland-based governing body FINA. It also aims to pay higher prize money and involve athletes more in making decisions.

“Why should athletes not shape their own series like so many other Olympic sports?” the 2012 Olympic champion in 200-meter butterfly wrote on Twitter.

In an escalating dispute, ISL organizers cancelled a swim meet this month in Turin, Italy, after FINA threatened to ban those taking part.

In response Friday, three swimmers – Hungarian great Katinka Hosszu, and American teammates Tom Shields and Michael Andrew – filed an anti-trust suit against FINA in a California court.

FINA allegedly asked for $50 million over 10 years to let the ISL operate, before organizers called off talks.

Le Clos said he is “so disappointed that our sport is not open to change” and that it needs innovation.

“We need to create different media and commercial opportunities,” he said. “Everyone in swimming should consider the future.”

The South African star fueled the dispute ahead of competing in FINA’s short-course world championships in Hangzhou, China.

FINA said in a statement Sunday it was focused on its 25-meter pool event rather than the legal challenge.

“As always, FINA remains open to proposals that would genuinely enhance – rather than conflict with – the current and planned competition calendars,” the governing body said.

An unrelated European ruling last year shows swimmers have a case to challenge possible anti-competitive behaviour. Dutch speedskaters won a European Commission decision in Brussels against the Swiss-based International Skating Union. They had been threatened with bans for wanting to compete in a South Korean-organized “Icederby” event in Dubai.

Associated Press

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