Strand swimmers excel at SA competition

Sean O’Neill, a down syndrome swimmer, broke the 50m world record at the competition.

Swimmers from the local swimming club, Aqua Sharks Swimming Academy last month excelled at the South African Senior Regional Aquatic competition held in Coetzenberg, Stellenbosch from Wednesday April 14 to Sunday April 18.

Club coach, Clinton Le Sueur said his team, regardless of their training challenges with the Covid-19 pandemic and a few shortcomings at their training venue, the Strand Municipal Swimming pool, still managed to have a wonderful and successful swimming season. Their latest achievements were at the SA Senior Regional Aquatic competition, including the setting of a world record!

Sean O’Neill, a down syndrome swimmer, broke the 50m world record (for his class S14, M2) at the competition. According to Mr Le Sueur, he lowered the record from 34.22 seconds to 33.45s in the morning heats and then broke his own record in the finals with a brilliant 33.10s swim.

Swimmers from the club won the following medals and posted these personal times at the Senior Nationals & Junior nationals combined event:

Sean O’Neill – gold and bronze medals

Melissa O’Neill – 5 x gold and 1 x silver medal

Michaela Kretzen – 3 gold medals

Christiaan Boonzaier – 3 bronze and 2 silver medals

Jannie Boonzaier – silver medal in the 50m butterfly

Bella Havemann – silver medal in the 50m freestyle

Monique van Zyl – 100m and 50m Breaststroke bronze medals.

“This was a wonderful event where all the best swimmers in the country were brought together, in a gala to race each other, to aim at posting Olympic Qualifying times,” said Mr Le Sueur.

Michaela Kretzen won 8 gold medals in her 8 events and swam 7 best personal times. She also qualified to compete at the Olympic Trials held from Wednesday April 7 until Monday April 12 in Gqeberha.