Team South Africa finished their Commonwealth Games campaign in Birmingham with four golds, four silvers and three bronze medals.
It was a quiet final night of competition at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre with only Rebecca Meder, Duné Coetzee and the women’s 4x100m medley relay team in action.
Having not expected to even reach the final, Meder finished eighth in the 50m backstroke in 28.66 with Canada’s world champion Kylie Masse taking the gold in a Games record time of 27.31.
Coetzee was also eighth in the 400m freestyle in 4:15.53 while Australia’s world record holder Ariarne Titmus took the gold in a Games record time of 3:58.06.
The South African quartet of Meder, Lara van Niekerk, Erin Gallagher and Aimee Canny then just missed out on a medal in the 4x100m medley relay, wrapping up the competition with an African record of 3:59.63 to finish fourth.
Coach Rocco Meiring said he was pleased with how the South African team had performed in Birmingham, particularly with an eye on the Paris Olympics in 2024.
“I think the team did exceptionally well. There’s definitely a new, young group of swimmers that have been identified a couple of years ago already and competed in the 2017 and 2019 World Junior Championships and they are coming through very strongly,” he said.
“There’s a very nice blend of more experienced, older swimmers and young guns with a lot of talent coming through. So it’s now to consolidate the programme for the next 16 months to be able to get them to qualify successfully for Paris.”
Meiring added that this impressive performance in Birmingham will act as a boost to the team and those at home still looking to compete in Pars.
“I think everybody that watched and the ones that competed here are leaving this competition encouraged and inspired and that is exactly what the mission was. We need to get inspiration from the Commonwealth Games to push for the final qualification going into Paris.”
Team SA swimming medals at the 2022 Commonwealth Games:
Lara van Niekerk (50 and 100m breaststroke)
Tatjana Schoenmaker (200m breaststroke)
Pieter Coetzé (100m backstroke)
Tatjana Schoenmaker (100m breaststroke)
Erin Gallagher (50m butterfly)
Pieter Coetzé (50m backstroke)
Chad le Clos (200m butterfly)
Kaylene Corbett (200m breaststroke)
Pieter Coetzé (200m backstroke)
Christian Sadie (S7 50m freestyle)
Pictured above: Rebecca Meder
Photo credit: @SouthAfricanSportsImages